Personal injury protection (PIP) is a form of car insurance that covers your medical expenses and lost wages if you or your passenger suffer injuries in an auto accident. This insurance coverage is optional in the majority of states but, in 16 states, you’re required to have a minimum PIP coverage amount. There may be an overlap between PIP insurance and your MedPay or health insurance. However, there are cases where it’s advisable to have both policies.
What is personal injury protection?
Also referred to as “no-fault insurance,” personal injury protection covers the medical and rehabilitative expenses for you and your passengers when an auto accident occurs. The cover also extends to cases in which you’re a passenger or if you’re hit with a vehicle while you’re a cyclist a pedestrian.
PIP is not the same as bodily injury liability insurance. PIP covers your costs whereas liability insurance covers the medical bills of other drivers and passengers in other vehicles in cases where a car accident is your fault.
This insurance may offer partially identical coverage to your Medical Payments policy or health insurance. But PIP exclusively auto accident injuries that are in some cases excluded from health insurance policies. Moreover, PIP covers numerous additional bills that MedPay doesn’t cover.
What does personal injury protection cover?
PIP insurance offers coverage for primary medical expenses and expenses reasonably related to rehabilitation you require following an accident. These expenses vary from one state to another and may include:
- Lost wages
- Ongoing professional care
- Accidental death benefits and funeral costs
- Some home care expenses
Should you get personal injury protection?
If you live in a state where PIP insurance is mandatory, you’re required to file a claim under the PIP policy before resorting to health insurance. However, even if PIP isn’t compulsory in your state, the insurance cover provides numerous benefits that aren’t available with health insurance, such as coverage for funeral costs and lost wages. Michigan, New Jersey and a few other states include provisions that ensure your PIP policy operates in conjunction with your health insurance.
How do you file a personal injury protection claim?
As with other types of insurance, the first step is filing a claim either through the phone or online. For claims that are ongoing and not urgent, you’ll be required to pre-approve or review your treatment. You have to work with with the healthcare provider chosen by your insurer or with an outsourced medical claims processor for this.
Furthermore, your car insurance company can approve partial reimbursements or select a medical provider to examine you. The amount of coverage in your policy varies with your state and insurance plan.
Make sure you follow the process and timeline required by your auto insurance provider. If you don’t provide the “Attending Provider Treatment Plan” and the documentation required, it may result in co-payment of up to 50 percent whether or not the medical procedure is necessary or reasonably required.
How does personal insurance work with other car insurance policies?
Let’s say another driver injures you and your car insurance policy includes PIP. You’re typically required to exhaust the PIP coverage before you can access other insurance options. What if if the medical expenses exceed the limits of your policy? You can file a claim under the liability insurance of the other driver.
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