Although personal injury protection isn’t part of the minimum liability auto insurance requirement in Texas, you may still want to add it. Personal injury insurance or personal injury protection (PIP) is merely an extension of the typical auto insurance policy. Unfortunately, as is often the case, many people don’t know what it covers, especially since it isn’t a requirement to legally operate a vehicle on the state’s highways.
In short, PIP will provide additional coverage for medical treatment and expenses that are directly associated with injuries sustained as a result of an automobile accident. The more you understand what personal injury insurance covers, the easier your decision will be as to whether or not the coverage is right for you and your family.
• The Basics
Commonly connected to automobile accidents, this particular type of coverage can also be provided for personal injuries and emotional distress caused from defamation or libel. While not mandatory in Texas, PIP will cover medical expenses, funeral expenses, and similar expenses of other passengers in the vehicle or any pedestrians who may have been injured in the accident.
• The Specifics
Any medical insurance needs of the individual who cause the accident will not be covered by PIP. Generally, insurance companies will finance the treatment and associated expenses of individuals injured by the insured driver. Should you be the victim of an accident, the other person’s PIP would take over and cover your medical expenses…that is, if they have the added coverage.
On average, most personal injury insurance policies cover medical bills, medical equipment costs, and death benefits. Some insurers will also provide for lost wages and punitive damages, both of which would be determined following a lawsuit and final court decision – unless an out-of- court settlement was agreed upon.
Additionally, PIP is not intended for, nor will it cover, any injuries caused by farm equipment, recreational vehicles, such as ATVs, intentional and self-inflicted injuries, or injuries due to a felony that took place at the time that the accident occurred.
• The Costs
The majority of drivers opting for personal injury coverage find it affordable, as the insurance protection itself is far from being the most expensive add-on.
• The Limits
Drivers who choose to by-pass PIP coverage and take their chances can often regret it later when faced with significant losses in the event of a serious automobile accident when one or more of the injured parties decide to take the case to court to sue for additional compensation. With personal injury insurance you’re somewhat protected, but without it…you could be financially responsible and be forced to pay the plaintiffs totally out of pocket, which could ruin you.
That’s why you may want to consider the advantages of having personal injury insurance. In the long run, getting it might be one of the best precautions you can take to protect yourself and your family from a possible worst case scenario.
Knowing what any insurance can and will do for you is a necessity. Nothing should be left to chance, including with personal injury protection. Sometimes the price we pay for having additional coverage is minor compared to not having it when we really need it.
Although it’s not mandatory in the state of Texas, have you considered getting personal injury protection? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.