What is PIP Insurance?
Personal Injury Protection Insurance, commonly referred to as PIP, is a type of coverage that pays for a portion of the covered individual’s medical expenses after he or she is injured in a motor vehicle collision. The amount of medical expenses that PIP will pay depends on the terms of the policy. The typical PIP policy covers around $2,500 of medical bills for a covered individual. PIP protection is useful and important to have because it is a type of “no-fault” coverage.
What does “no-fault” coverage mean?
“No-Fault” means that the PIP will pay out regardless of who is at fault for the car wreck. This is especially useful if the at fault driver cannot be determine or if the at fault driver is uninsured. This means that the payment from PIP is practically guaranteed if you are ever injured in an accident.
Do I have PIP?
In Texas, automobile insurance companies are required to offer every person the option of purchasing PIP insurance. It is relatively low cost additional coverage. However, the State of Texas does not require drivers to have PIP coverage. Texas does require drivers to have liability insurance coverage of at least $30,000.
How is PIP different from Bodily Injury Liability Insurance?
The basic difference between PIP and Liability Insurance is the issue of fault. As stated previously, PIP is a no fault coverage. Your PIP coverage helps pay for medical expenses arising from a motor vehicle collision regardless of fault, whereas your Bodily Injury Liability Insurance pays for the injuries you cause to another person if you are at-fault in a car accident. Liability insurance does not pay for your own injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision, regardless of fault.
Examples of how PIP insurance works:
Example 1: You are driving down the road when a squirrel darts in front of your vehicle. You swerve to avoid the squirrel, and end up hitting a nearby tree at a low speed. The impact is enough to cause your airbag to deploy and break your nose. Your PIP insurance will help pay for the treatments to fix your busted nose even though there is no other driver who was at fault for the car wreck.
Example 2: An 18 wheeler crosses over the center line and strikes your vehicle. You are not at fault for the car accident. You suffer severe injuries. Your own PIP coverage will help you pay for some of the medical bills up to the coverage limit, even though you were not at fault. Your own bodily injury liability coverage will NOT pay for any of your injuries or damages. However, the liability insurance of the 18 wheeler driver or the trucking company would be obligated to pay for your injuries because they were at fault.