Personal Injury Insurance
Personal Injury Insurance, most often referred to as Personal Injury Protection or PIP, is usually associated with No-Fault insurance states. As a result, it is rare to find Personal Injury Protection in states where the first party Medical Payments option is available. Although the two are quite similar in concept, there are some basic differences which should be understood. Even so, you will probably only hear of PIP in No-Fault states.
Benefits of Personal Injury Insurance
Personal Injury Insurance is a first party coverage (in your vehicle) that covers medical and hospital expenses that are the result of an accident that is considered to be a covered loss. Also, PIP can help with other expenses during the healing process but these coverages vary from state to state. Along with medical and hospital payments they may include continuation of income, cover lost services, funeral costs and sometimes even child care. Even if these expenses were not in your budget before the accident, if they came about as a direct result of a covered loss they may also be covered. This is especially true if they are not covered by health insurance.
Knowing How Much Personal Injury to Carry
Since Personal Injury insurance is a first party insurance it is imperative that you take into consideration the fact that it will be paying for covered losses (accidents) to those in your vehicle. Sometimes your health insurance will pay for some of the expenses but when your insurance isn’t sufficient or if you don’t have health insurance it is vitally important to carry as much Personal Injury as you can afford to do. Considering just how expensive health care is, it is even more important to carry adequate Personal Injury.
Considering the Cost of Personal Injury Insurance
While you would want as much coverage as possible there are several factors which might affect the cost. The first thing to keep in mind is the deductible you choose. Remember the old rule of thumb. The higher your deductible the lower your monthly premium will be and conversely, the lower your deductible the higher your premium will be. However, should you be involved in a serious accident you will be glad that you chose better coverage with a lower deductible.
Is Personal Injury Mandatory?
Actually, there are only fourteen no-fault states where Personal Injury is mandatory including Delaware, Hawaii, Florida, Kansas, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Utah. In every other state it is usually your choice whether to carry Personal Injury or Medical Payments (Med Pay). In states where No-Fault is not legislated, Med Pay is actually your only option. So is Personal Injury mandatory? The answer to that question is simple. In No-Fault states Personal Injury is definitely mandatory. In all other states it is not necessary (but always advisable) to carry first party insurance.
When shopping for Personal Injury Insurance or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) as it is actually referred to, it is possible to get better rates if you take the time to shop around. Not all companies charge the same prices for the same coverages so it is worth your while to do a little comparison shopping online. Also, remember that a higher deductible will keep your premiums lower as will keeping your limits as low as feasibly possible. If the cost is an issue, keep these things in mind. On the other hand, weigh that against a potentially devastating accident with huge medical bills. Either way, since Personal Injury is mandatory you will at least need to carry the minimum mandated by the state in which you live.