Personal Injury Protection Coverage
If you are injured in a car accident, the insurance coverage that will take care of your injuries is the personal injury protection coverage, or commonly referred to as the PIP coverage.
PIP is an optional coverage in Washington state, but your insurance agent is required to offer this coverage to you and you must sign a waiver form if you choose not to carry this coverage.
How does PIP coverage work?
PIP coverage is also commonly known as a “no-fault coverage” which means the benefits will apply regardless who was at fault for the accident.
The best feature of PIP coverage is its immediate benefits after an accident.
PIP coverage will start working as soon as you are able to report the accident to your insurance company. After reporting your accident to your agent or insurance company, you will be assigned a claim number.
With this claim number, your insurance company will cover the costs of medical care from any doctor or specialist, including chiropractor and physical therapist.
If you were involved in an emergency situation, the emergency personnel or the hospital will provide immediate care to you. The cost relating to the emergency care will be covered by your PIP coverage. Once you or your family is able to report the accident and file a claim, simply provide the claim number to the hospital for billing purposes.
What are the benefits of PIP?
More than just medical benefits for the injured driver, PIP coverage can also extend to your passengers if they were hurt in the same accident. The coverage limit is applied individually to each person, and each person is covered up to the maximum limit on your policy.
In Washington state, PIP coverage limit starts at $10,000 and can go as high as $100,000 depending on your insurance company.
In addition to medical expenses, it also provides benefits for:
- Loss of income as a result of your injuries.
- Funeral and final expenses.
- Essential services such as childcare or cleaning service that you may not be able to perform because of your injuries.
No deductible for PIP
One great feature in PIP coverage is that there is no deductible or out-of-pocket expense when you use the coverage. You and your passengers can afford the entire coverage limit for medical expenses and other included benefits.
Additional benefits even when you are not the driver
In addition to covering you or your passengers in an accident, there are two other scenarios where your PIP coverage may also benefit you.
If you were a pedestrian and you were hit by a vehicle while crossing the street. In this instance, your PIP coverage will be the primary coverage to take care of your injuries.
If you were hurt in an accident while riding in a friend or coworker’s car, the PIP coverage on your own auto policy may help to pay for your medical costs even if the driver does not have PIP coverage on his/her insurance policy.
PIP coverage is a great option for many drivers by providing peace of mind of knowing that they don't have to worry about medical bills in the event of an auto-related accident. For someone who may not have access to consistent individual medical insurance coverage. PIP could also be that essential coverage for the much needed medical attention after an accident.