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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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If you live in a state that offers any type of “no-fault” insurance, you may be offered additional coverage in the form of Med-Pay or “Personal Injury Protection” (PIP).

It is not necessary to purchase this additional coverage, but it is strongly recommended.

Basically, Med-Pay or Personal Injury Protection covers your injuries regardless of who was at fault for a car accident.

Please note, only actual monetary losses are recoverable from your insurance company with this coverage.

If you are seeking monetary damages for pain and suffering, you will have to submit a claim for compensation to the responsible party’s insurance company.

As mentioned in the explanation of no fault insurance, in order to seek monetary damages from the driver who caused the accident, you must meet the monetary or verbal threshold requirements set forth by state law.

The Benefits of Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Let’s take a quick look at the types of benefits offered by this coverage endorsement.

You will notice there is no benefit for physical damage to your vehicle with Personal Injury Protection insurance.

1.    Medical expenses:  typically up to a certain amount, such as $2,000.
2.    Loss of income:  an amount expressed as a percentage and subject to a maximum.
3.    Funeral expenses:  a capped, specified dollar amount.
4.    Rehab: monetary compensation typically paid in addition to medical expenses.
5.    Expenses for essential services:  money paid for expenses you incur for everyday activities you would be unable to perform, such as cleaning your home or yard maintenance.
6.    Survivors’ loss benefits:  money paid to compensate survivors in the event of your death.

Med-Pay and/or Personal Injury Protection coverage and benefits can vary widely from state to state.

For example, higher deductibles are required in some states, while others require insurers to offer higher limits for the potential benefits.

Be sure to have your insurance company or independent agent explain the details of the coverage being offered to you prior to accepting or declining it.

Also, request that they provide an example of a situation when Med-Pay/Personal Injury Protection coverage would be necessary for you.

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