At Sussman & Simcox, we think that Personal Injury Protection is such a valuable benefit for motorists, we are bringing you this annual reminder to look at your auto policy and make sure that you have purchased PIP coverage.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a type of auto insurance that provides financial coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs in case of an accident, regardless of who was at fault. In Maryland, PIP is OPTIONAL, so you must add it to your policy.
The benefits of having PIP coverage include the following:
Coverage for medical expenses: PIP coverage pays for medical expenses, including doctor visits, hospital stays, and rehabilitation costs. This helps you to reduce medical bills after a collision. And at the end of a personal injury claim, the fewer outstanding medical bills, the more money you keep from your settlement or trial judgment.
Lost wage compensation: If you cannot work due to an accident, PIP coverage can help compensate you for your lost wages. This can help you avoid financial stress and provide a steady source of income if you are off work while you recover from your injuries.
No-fault coverage: One of the critical benefits of PIP insurance is that it operates on a no-fault basis, meaning that it pays out regardless of who caused the accident. This can help you access benefits quickly without having to go through a lengthy legal process to prove the other motorist was at fault.
Coverage for other expenses: In addition to medical expenses and lost wages, PIP coverage can sometimes pay for other related costs, such as transportation to medical appointments and funeral expenses.
PIP is also affordable. For most drivers, PIP costs between $50- $100 per year and can provide $2500 in medical coverage each for you, your spouse and any children.
A note of caution. In initial discussion with some new accident clients, we discovered (too late) that what they thought was PIP on their policy really isn’t. Some carriers sell an inferior product, often called “Guest PIP.” While it is priced less than regular PIP, the benefits are far inferior. Guest PIP only covers other people while riding in your car. It does not cover you, even though you are likely paying the policy's annual insurance premiums. So if you are looking to save money on your auto policy, this is not the way to do it. With Guest PIP, you are ultimately paying an insurance benefit for other people, which makes no financial sense.
So take a moment to review your auto coverages and make sure PIP is included. If it’s not, add it to your policy now. If you wait until your next renewal, which may be many months from now, you may forget this vital information.