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What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and do I need it?

In consultations with my clients, one of the most important factors that need to be identified is the kind of car insurance coverage they carry.  To protect yourself in the best way from a loss in an accident it is important to know the value of the insurance coverage, to know what Personal Injury Protection or PIP coverage is.

What is PIP and what does it cover?

PIP is a no-fault based coverage type of protection that will cover you even if the accident is your own fault and there are medical bills and lost wages. Often times this is available sooner than the other person’s insurance because if you had to miss work due to the accident you likely will need your regular income reimbursed sooner than later. Also, this can be used in addition to the other person’s insurance in order to cover more of those medical bills and lost wages.

You may ask do I even have PIP?

Well, whenever you first purchased your car insurance you were required to be given the option to buy this coverage. A lot of the time I have found that clients may have just wanted to get the minimum coverage or cheapest rate or just get out the door so all the benefits may not have been explained or heard or understood. The best way to find out is to ask your agent for proof that you do or don’t have. It really can be beneficial as the minimum PIP coverage is $2,500 and most insurance companies offer up to $10,000 in PIP benefits.

How much will it cost and will it raise my rate?

To best answer that I would have an in-depth discussion about this with your agent to know the cost for this coverage but when you weigh it against what you get in return you will find it is more than worth it. Additionally, it is against the law for your insurance to raise your rates for using it.

Why should I buy more coverage and use my own insurance if someone else is at fault for most accidents?

My response to that is, do you really want to be on the short end of the stick if there is not enough insurance coverage by just a few thousand dollars. Bear in mind most people have minimum insurance coverage of only $30,000 and if some unfortunate incident occurs and that money isn’t enough to pay for all your medical bills and lost wages that little bit extra money you spent a month will have saved you those extra $5,000 that will have been attached to your credit or worse a lien on your home.

One more thing to note. This insurance will also cover passengers in the vehicle with you. So a close friend or family member who was injured in the vehicle with you will also be able to benefit. I strongly recommend to all my clients if they have PIP to use it and if they don’t, to look into buying it. If you haven’t by now please do. You’ll thank me you did.