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Auto insurance: Does PIP mean anything to you?

Understanding the need for Auto insurance is easy. However, understanding all of the different types of coverage isn't easy. Each states Attorney General along with the State Senate and House of Representatives decides what is important and what is not to protect their citizens. Consequently, the laws vary widely from state to state as to what constitutes responsibility in an accident, then who is at fault and who is to pay any damages. The laws varies as much as the opinions on "is this a good movie?" when you are talking to people in the checkout line at your local grocery store.

 
   

Twelve states today are what we call 'No fault' states. Some are clustered in regions like New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Others spread out like Massachusetts, Minnesota, Kansas, North Dakota, and Hawaii. This means if you are in an accident in one of these states then your insurance is responsible to pay out any health/injury premiums. Or, if you are involved with a driver from one of these states in your home state, there is likely to be litigation to cover medical costs. Sometimes this is called suborgable. Suborgable means that if you have PIP, your insurance company will pay for your loss no matter what, but is allowed to file suit and attempt to reclaim the payments from the other parties in the accident. The advantage to this is that you are covered from day one for your injuries instead of paying out of pocket and waiting for a court decision to see what you will be reimbursed.

Personal Injury Protection, or PIP is how insurance companies in those states handle medical injury. PIP is important because it does not just cover medical expenses. It can also cover lost wages for someone who has lost work due to injuries. Often other damages are valid under the PIP claim. PIP pays out regardless of who is at fault.

When you do your annual review of your auto insurance, make sure you talk to your broker about PIP. If you drive in a no fault state on a regular basis it, it is good to know how to make sure you have comparable coverage if you are not in a no fault state. If you are a no fault state , review your premium to ensure you will get enough to cover lost wages is something should happen to you that keeps you from working for a period of time.

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