A form of optional auto insurance coverage you can purchase to protect you, your family and anyone riding in your vehicle if you are involved in a wreck, is Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage.
The coverage begins at $2,500.00 per person and may also be available at $5,000.00 or $10,000.00 per person limits, or more, depending on your insurer.
PIP acts like health insurance or short term disability insurance for medical expenses or lost wages caused by a car accident. The rates for this coverage are slightly higher than Medical Payments Coverage, but PIP is still relatively inexpensive and a great investment. I highly recommend this coverage over Medical Payments Coverage. PIP covers the following:
1.) 100% of reasonable expenses incurred for necessary medical and funeral services; and/or
2.) 80% of a covered person’s documented loss of income from employment, up to your available per person limits.
Another good thing about PIP coverage is that it covers all occupants of your insured vehicle regardless of who was at fault in causing the wreck. PIP also covers your family members, defined as a person who is a resident of your household and related to you by blood, marriage or adoption, while occupants of someone else’s vehicle without this coverage.
Let’s look at some examples of how important this coverage can be for you and your family. What if you are riding in your insured car with your friends and you have PIP coverage and are hit by another car? You and your friends in your insured vehicle would each have PIP coverage up to your available PIP limits.
What if you were riding with a friend who did not have PIP coverage on their auto policy, and they were hit by another vehicle? You would still have PIP benefits available to you under your auto policy for your medical expenses and lost wages. The same general rule would apply to UM/UIM coverage if you purchased it.
Let’s take that one step further. Assume that your child was riding with a friend’s family, and they were in a wreck where your child was injured and needed medical attention. What if the wreck was caused by the other driver, and the other driver was uninsured. What if the family your child was riding with rejected PIP coverage on their policy? How would you pay for your child’s medical expenses? If you have health insurance, what about the deductibles?
The good news is that as a member of your household, your child would be considered a covered person under your auto policy and would be entitled to coverage up to the available PIP coverage limits you purchased.
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