06 Mar Personal Injury Protection Soapbox
When was the last time you checked the Personal Injury Protection on your auto insurance?
Did you know you had it? Do you even know what it is? (clears throat) Please excuse me while I get on my soapbox…
Personal Injury Protection, also known as PIP coverage, is a component of auto insurance that covers medical expenses of the driver and passengers regardless of who’s at fault during an accident. PIP is how your providers get reimbursed for your care while you are being treated. In the state of WA, you automatically have PIP when you sign up for auto insurance unless you specifically decline it, and the standard coverage is $10,000.
Do I need Personal Injury Protection?
A very resounding YES! If you are injured in an auto accident, even if another driver is at fault, and you have PIP, your providers simply bill your auto insurance and are reimbursed in a timely manner. If you do not have PIP, your providers will not be reimbursed for their treatment until you settle your case. In WA, this could take up to 5 years which can be a heavy financial burden for those that are treating you.
Do I really need Personal Injury Protection even though I have health insurance?
YES! Not all providers are contracted with your private health insurance and all providers can bill PIP. This opens up your ability to see any provider you choose during your injury recovery. Also, most health insurance plans have visit limits, for instance, 25 visits/year for all combined rehabilitation modalities (ie. Massage, Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, and Acupuncture). When seeking treatment, these visit limits can quickly be reached and no more treatments will be available for the year.
I don’t want to open a claim because I’m worried my insurance premiums will go up.
PIP is a benefit you pay for so use it! If you are not at fault, your private health insurance will NOT cover your medical care if you have PIP on your auto policy. They will require you to open a claim. If you are the at-fault party, your insurance company may raise your rates, but in the meantime, you will be receiving care to help with a speedy recovery. This is priceless.
Is $10,000 coverage enough PIP?
NO! If you are in a serious car accident and have to take a trip to the Emergency Room: Boom! $10,000 gone. Once you max your benefit limit, you will not have enough left over for the rest of the treatments you will need to recover. I highly recommend increasing your coverage to $35,000. This may seem exorbitant, but I assure you, with the rising costs of healthcare, it is easily possible to hit it. And the difference between premiums for $10,000 vs. $35,000 is minimal! (I think ours was a $20 increase for 6 months.)
And here is where I step down off my soapbox (for now). Let me wrap up by stating, in my expert opinion, Personal Injury Protection is a valuable asset for drivers and their providers. Our massage therapists can expertly treat you for your auto injuries and our insurance billing staff can hold your hand through the process.
Please call us if you have ANY questions about billing PIP for an injury sustained during an auto accident. (360)647-2805