Traffic accidents in America are a fact of life. It is estimated that almost 6 million car accidents occur yearly, resulting in almost 2 million injuries. Put another way a car accident occurs almost every second across the Nation. While some may view that number as an exaggeration, the hassle and cost of property damage or medical bills from an accident is serious business.
Therefore it is incumbent for drivers buying car insurance to understand their car insurance policy and whether or not it’s enough coverage for their driving needs. One of the terms they are likely to hear is Personal Injury Protection or PIP for short.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) works like this: An insured motorist has an accident with injuries, either to the driver, a passenger or both, Personal Injury Protection kicks in to cover the hospital bills, and other expenses that can quickly tally up like lost wages or even childcare. Depending on the state though, Personal Injury Protection coverage may also cover funeral expenses.
Also, Personal Injury Protection pays out regardless of who caused the accident. But carrying Personal Injury Protection is optional in parts of the Union and mandatory in others.
American states that require drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP), are commonly called no-fault states, meaning that the driver’s own insurer pays for hospital bills and damages in an accident or regardless if the other driver has insurance coverage or not.
Of course, drivers should always carry as much coverage as possible but how much Personal Injury Protection they ultimately decide on depends on the cost of carrying higher coverage and their budget, as well as how much medical coverage a driver already carries.
One of the main reasons states require mandatory Personal Injury Protection coverage is that it keeps the courts uncluttered with frivolous legal suits, as well as keeping insurance premiums low.
And while the coverage is not optional in Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah and Hawaii, drivers in Florida, New Jersey and Kentucky can choose between Personal Injury Protection coverage or tort coverage. Tort-state drivers are able to sue the other driver in an accident in order to recover damages.
For those drivers in states where Personal Injury Protection isn’t mandatory, other comparable insurance options could be available:
- Medical Payments Coverage – Pays for medical bills for drivers and their passengers after a car accident regardless of who was at fault. Death benefits are also typically covered. This type of coverage also covers a driver in someone else’s vehicle.
- Underinsured Motorist Coverage – Often confused with Uninsured Motorist Coverage, this coverage makes up the difference when the insured driver runs into a driver with low levels of liability insurance.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage – This coverage pays out for covered drivers in an accident with another motorist without car insurance at all.
And whether drivers hail from no-fault states or not, everyone can benefit from learning more about how their car insurance coverage affects them as well as how they could save money on insurance premiums and while at first a car insurance policy may seem unintelligible the first time, its mysteries are soon revealed once a driver learns more about their policy and its coverage combinations.
To that end, AutoInsuranceMonitor has devoted itself to informing drivers of the most up-to-date changes regarding car insurance in their state, the most helpful car insurance FAQ directory on the Web, and links to some of the top insurers in the Nation like AAA, Allstate, Nationwide and more.