Chances are most drivers know of Personal Injury Protection, or “PIP” insurance. However, many don’t know just how important it is. Do we, as drivers, benefit from it? Is it a specific requirement in Florida? What does Personal Injury Protection cover in the event of a driver becoming injured in a car accident?
These are all great questions, and unfortunately, many less-than-qualified lawyers that handle car accident cases on a daily basis fail to recognize the importance of this type of insurance policy. Within this article we’ll make sure our readers become well informed and well acquainted with Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) and why they may be putting themselves at-risk should they choose not to carry it on their policy.
First, it’s important to understand that “PIP” is considered “no-fault” coverage due to its inherent nature of paying for claims regardless of whether or not the driver is at-fault in the accident. However, we shouldn’t overlook that it’s not as simple as calling the insurance company and providing proof of accident. Certain stipulations must be met to in order for “PIP” to cover the accident in question.
Now, we’ll provide the top three (3) things that make Personal Injury Protection so important.
1. How does Personal Injury Protection coverage work?
For the most part, this answer is simple: PIP coverage allows anyone paying for such a policy to file their own PIP claim with their insurance carrier (instead of with the other party’s insurance carrier). Then, the accident victim’s own insurer will pay their beneficiary’s damages up to what’s allowable in their state; this is called “policy limits” and is the topic of an upcoming article. When bodily injury expenses are in excess of that amount, the injured party can then proceed to file a lawsuit directly against the other driver said to have caused the accident.
2. What does “PIP” cover? What doesn’t it cover?
When a driver adds Personal Injury Protection to their existing insurance policy or to a new policy they’re signing up for, they add it with the knowledge that it covers medical bills and lost wages. What drivers sometimes aren’t aware of, is that in certain circumstances PIP may cover transportation needs for medical appointments. This is necessary if the accident victim is unable to drive or does not have a car due to the accident. It even goes as far as covering property damage such as lawn repair if the other party is responsible for destruction of personal property.
In theory, PIP covers every reasonable medical and lost wages expense directly caused by the action. The catch (which isn’t so much a catch)? There’s a specified time frame to file a claim directly with your insurance carrier in order to be compensated for any injuries and lost wages sustained.
3. Does the state of Florida require it? Where else is Personal Injury Protection insurance mandatory?
Yes! Florida law requires drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection along with their car insurance policy regardless of whether they want it or not. This is in the best interest of the driver and everyone else on the road, and an excellent way to protect drivers in the event that an accident does occur. The safest drivers are the ones who know that protecting themselves is just another way to stay safe. PIP insurance is a requirement in 12 other states as well: The District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Utah.
PIP’s forgotten factors
PIP insurance doesn’t necessarily mean the insured’s premiums won’t rise after an accident. Premiums are based on a wide array of different factors and the specifics of the accident. It’s important to seek a lawyer with years of experience after a car accident to assist in recovering the maximum amount of compensation as quickly as possible.
To wrap up this article, let’s look at examples of what drivers may not know about, that can be affecting their premium:
- Is PIP mandatory in the state the driver lives or an accident occurs?
- What’s the motorist’s driving record?
- The age and gender of the driver (new drivers often have higher premiums even without ever getting into an automobile accident)