Insurance Coverage

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or MedPay

An extension of car insurance available in some U.S. states that covers medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages and other damages.

I have heard countless times “I have health insurance, what do I need PIP for?” You need it because it is cost effective protection for your health care expenses that health insurance may never cover as well as for essential services and lost wages.

PIP pays your medical bills without a co-pay or deductible. Many health insurance deductibles are thousands of dollars a year (and they seem to be getting higher). In addition, you have to pay a co-pay at the time of service. If you are seeking care two or three times per week, the co-pays alone can make getting care too expensive.

PIP does not limit the number of visits to a particular provider. Most health insurance plans limit the number of visits you can get for chiropractic, massage therapy, or physical therapy. If you are injured, what happens when your allotted number of visits are used up? Who pays them? YOU DO. With PIP coverage, there are NO LIMITS on the number of visits or the amount you can use on any given provider. The only limit is the amount of coverage you have purchased. In Washington, the minimum is $10,000 but I suggest you purchase at least $35,000. Some auto insurance carriers are offering up to $100,000 in PIP benefits (probably in an attempt to keep up with the rising cost of health care).

PIP pays for more than medical. (Medpay only pays for medical.) PIP covers two other types of losses. Income loss and essential services. Lost income can be as simple as several hours of work or as complicated as being self-employed and missing job opportunities. In order for a PIP carrier to consider a wage loss claim, there must be medical documentation stating you cannot perform the duties of your job and then, of course, some type of documentation for the amount of time loss you are seeking.

PIP is a LOAN. In most cases, when you obtain recovery for your injuries from the at-fault person, you will be required to repay your PIP carrier. You are repaying a loan. However, there are many situations where the PIP carrier is never repaid, which is why you should seek experienced counsel so that you know your rights when it comes to PIP reimbursement. Even with the reimbursement provision, it is still a wise decision to purchase PIP coverage.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist (UM)

Is a coverage that protects you if you’re involved in a collision with someone who does not have liability insurance (uninsured) or does not have enough liability insurance (underinsured) to pay for your damages. In most situations if your claim is brought under this portion of your policy you will not need to reimburse your PIP.

Liability Insurance

Is a part of the general insurance system of risk financing to protect the purchaser (the “insured”) from the risks of liabilities imposed by lawsuits and similar claims.

Collision

Collision Insurance will reimburse the insured for any damage sustained to their personal automobile that is due to the fault of the insured driver.

Comprehension

Comprehensive coverage protects you against damages to your car that are the result of covered perils not related to a collision.