At Sussman & Simcox, we have long stressed the importance of adding Person Injury Protection (PIP) to your auto policy. This is an affordable optional coverage that can pay important medical and wage benefits (typically $2,500 or more) to you and resident family members if you are injured in a traffic collision, regardless of fault. And there are no deductibles or co-pays to deal with when PIP is available to pay down medical expenses.

What is PIP Coverage?

When we meet with a new client, we routinely inquire as to whether they have PIP coverage on their auto policy. But time and again clients who were “certain” they had purchased PIP, had actually bought something else instead - Guest PIP (or Limited PIP). Guest PIP is an inferior, and frankly misleading, type of coverage that dofull pipes NOT provide benefits to the policyholder or family members who may be injured in a collision. Instead, the benefits provided are generally limited to “other occupants” of your car, not you or your spouse/children. So if you give a co-worker a ride home and get in a collision, your co-worker would qualify for benefits under your PIP plan, but not you. Guest PIP would even cover a hitchhiker riding in your car, but not you.

Guest PIP vs. PIP Coverage

It is illogical that so many Marylanders would willingly spend hard-earned dollars to buy insurance coverage that only benefits other people, but that’s what Guest PIP/Limited PIP does. When we ask why the client bought Guest PIP, we typically discover that it was chosen by mistake because it has the word “PIP” in the title and there was no clear explanation given about the critical limitation on who receives the benefit.

The Importance of Full PIP

Full PIP is one of the few good deals in auto insurance and can provide significant financial benefits to your household after a collision. Don’t insure strangers; insure yourself! On your next insurance renewal, check for PIP. If you don’t have it, add it! If you have Guest PIP/Limited PIP or other inferior product, delete it and add full PIP!

Howard Simcox
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Gaithersburg Personal Injury Attorney
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