Do drivers need to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance? What is it anyway? While not common, it can be very helpful.
About PIP Insurance
Believe it or not, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance was designed to reduce the number of lawsuits filed. It’s also called “no-fault insurance.” That simply means the insurance kicks in and works regardless of who has fault, and to what extent, in a motor vehicle accident.
In other words, it’s simply available when you need it. Texas does not require you to have PIP. However, insurers must give you $2,500 as part of your policy if you don’t specifically reject PIP. You can pay increased premiums for higher PIP limits.
What Does Personal Injury Protection Insurance Cover?
PIP actually covers quite a bit. Broadly defined, it covers some of the more common economic expenses that arise from a motor vehicle accident. These include:
- Medical care costs
- Up to 80% of your lost income
When Might You Use PIP?
You should always use PIP if your policy provides coverage. After all, why would you pay good money for something you’re not even going to use? And remember… PIP is no-fault insurance. The carrier should not raise your rates for filing a PIP claim. PIP allows you to “double dip” as it covers some of the same things as liability insurance.
However, it also covers expenses above and beyond the limitations of liability insurance. So, it could come in handy in a few situations:
- To give your passengers coverage, as that is a core component of PIP policies
- To help you cover deductibles, dental expenses, and funeral bills – all things your medical insurance may not cover
- As a nontaxable income replacement for up to 80% of your lost income (short-term and long-term disability benefits are taxable)
- To help you make it through a tight situation if you’re unable to work due to a motorcycle accident
Should You Buy Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance?
Yes, if you can afford it. The cost of PIP is rather nominal and the coverage will clearly benefit you if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident.
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Joseph R. Morrison is the Senior Associate Attorney at Mullen & Mullen Law Firm in Dallas, TX, where he represents people personally injured due to the negligence of others. He was recognized by VerdictSearch for obtaining a Top 5 Premises Liability verdict in the State of Texas, and has been quoted in the ABA Journal.