Personal injury protection, PIP for short, is a basic type of coverage that an individual can opt for on their auto insurance policy. This coverage is typically called PIP or MEDEX, depending on the insurance company. Personal injury protection pays for medical bills and covers the loss of wages for an insured who was injured in an auto accident as a first-party, regardless of who was deemed at fault.
What Is All Covered Under PIP Coverage?
There are a few different things that are covered under this type of insurance policy. You should know what these are in the event that you need to file a PIP claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to better instruct you on the coverages listed below.
Medical Expenses – This includes costs for surgery, nursing, x-rays, medical, hospital, ambulance, medications, medical supplies, and all other costs associated directly with the medical aspect of your injury.
Disability/Replacement Services – These are benefits you will receive to cover someone else performing household and other tasks that you can’t do due to your injury.
Loss Of Income – Any income you lose out on earning due to your injury is covered.
Funeral Expenses – In the event of your death, your PIP coverage will help cover some of the cost of your funeral expenses.
Survivor’s Loss – In the event of your death, some policies will provide your survivor with compensation.
Who Can File A PIP Claim?
Each auto insurance policy will have PIP coverage for multiple people. These include:
- Policyholder’s Relatives
- Authorized Drivers On The Policy
- Any Passengers Injured In An Accident In The Policyholder’s Vehicle Where They Don’t Have PIP Coverage
- Family Members And Policyholders In The Event They Are Injured As Pedestrians (Depending On State)
- Family Members And Policyholders In The Event They Were Injured In Another’s Car
Understanding No-Fault PIP Coverage
Most PIP insurance coverage will be listed as no-fault. This can be quite confusing as in other areas of the policy where no-fault is listed, this means that it will not affect your rates. Unfortunately, with PIP insurance, no-fault doesn’t mean that your rates will not go up. In fact, it’s very likely that your insurance premiums will be increased upon filing a PIP claim.
Reasons Why Your Insurance Rates Would Go Up
It’s important to realize that all car insurance companies have their own policies. Depending on their policies, you may notice a rate increase after filing a PIP claim or you may not. Let’s take a look at the reasons why you would notice a rate increase after filing a claim.
New Risk Assessment – Your insurance company bases your rate on your risk to them as a driver. Each insurance provider uses statistical evidence to predict the likelihood of certain traits being linked to paying out more money. Any traits that a driver possesses that are linked to higher payouts will increase their rate.
In the event of a PIP claim, it’s likely your insurance company will do another risk assessment. This can lead to an increase in either your insurance premiums, your PIP premiums, or both. In some cases, this can lead to paying a higher deductible.
How To Know For Sure If Your Rates Will Increase
The only way to be sure whether one or more of your rates and/or deductible will increase is by contacting your insurance company. Your insurance agent will be able to go more in-depth explaining your policy and give you an answer. You should contact your agent before filing a claim to ensure you have a clear idea of the outcome.
Make sure that you ask your agent if any area of your policy will increase. This means your car insurance premium, your PIP premium, and your deductibles. In some insurance policies, both car insurance and PIP premiums are combined into one monthly payment, so it can be hard to tell after filing a claim what exactly increased.
Is Filing A PIP Claim Worth It In The Long Run?
In the event that your auto insurance provider verifies that your rate or deductible will increase after filing a claim, it can be a tricky situation of weighing the benefits and costs. Speaking with an personal injury attorney may allow you to better understand your rights when it comes to PIP coverage. Typically those seeking a large sum of money from their PIP coverage will file a claim. Those with smaller bills will sometimes not file a claim for the increase in their insurance rate is more than their medical bills.