What is No-Fault/Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance?
The average Floridian spends over $1,900 per year for auto insurance, including no-fault coverage. Like many drivers, you probably took a close look at what you were paying for when you first signed up for insurance. However, you may not have given it much thought afterward. It doesn’t hurt to refresh your knowledge about the basic coverage you have. That way, you’ll know what to expect if an accident strikes.
What is PIP Insurance?
PIP, or Personal Injury Protection, is an add-on to car insurance that covers medical expenses and lost wages when you have an accident. It is also called no-fault insurance because it pays out irrespective of which driver is at fault. That means that after a car accident, the parties involved turn to their own insurance companies to cover expenses.
Considering that an estimated 26.7% of drivers in Florida are operating a vehicle without any insurance coverage, PIP is a small comfort for many drivers. While PIP is optional in most states, Florida drivers are required to carry it.
What Does PIP Cover?
Any part of your body can suffer an injury in a car accident. That’s why PIP covers a wide range of medical services you may need, including diagnostic testing, hospitalization, physical therapy, and dental procedures. You can also be compensated for the wages you lose while taking time away from work to get treatment and to heal at home.
In addition to medical bills and lost wages, PIP covers replacement services you need if your injuries leave you unable to manage your life as usual. For example, if you cannot drive or clean your house, PIP can be used to compensate you for travel and home care expenses you’re accruing.
PIP coverage extends to your children as well as your passengers who do not have vehicles themselves. If they are drivers, they should use their own PIP even if the accident doesn’t happen when they are driving their own vehicles. Members of your household can also be covered by your PIP.
How Much Does No-Fault Insurance Cover?
Luckily, most automobile accidents don’t cause life-threatening injuries. Many ailments can be treated in non-emergency facilities such as doctors’ offices and other facilities that take care of non-emergency situations. Florida PIP allows up to $2,500 for these non-emergency treatments.
If it doesn’t exceed the policy limit, PIP covers 80% of emergency medical expenses resulting from an accident. Since the minimum required PIP coverage is $10,000, that limit is often $8,000 but it can be higher if you decide to maintain more coverage. When it comes to lost wages, the coverage is 60% while replacement services are fully covered. When fatal accidents happen, PIP provides $5,000 in death benefits.
Is There Anything PIP Doesn’t Cover?
PIP requires policyholders to receive initial medical attention within 14 days of an accident. Claims for treatment that begins after that timeframe can be denied. That’s why it’s important to see a healthcare professional as soon as possible. There are many injuries that don’t appear right away. And you don’t want to have to pay for treatment yourself when you already have coverage.
Car accidents are often traumatizing. As a survivor, you may have to cope with physical pain, mental anguish, and sometimes after especially devastating accidents, permanent adverse changes in your abilities and overall quality of life. Unfortunately, Personal Injury Protection does not cover noneconomic damages like pain and suffering, but you can speak to a lawyer about how to recover those damages.
Property damage also is not included in PIP coverage. If your vehicle or real estate is damaged in a car accident, you’ll have to rely on other insurance coverage, pay out of pocket, or seek compensation directly from the at-fault party.
Florida’s No-Fault Insurance Guidelines
Out of the 50 states, Florida has the highest number of second homes, so there are many drivers dividing their time between multiple states where insurance requirements may vary. If you are driving in Florida for more than 90 days within a 365 day period, you’re required to meet the state’s minimum PIP coverage.
You must purchase PIP from an insurance carrier that is licensed in Florida. Even if your car isn’t working or if you’re not driving for an extended period of time, you’re required to maintain coverage. There are few exceptions to this, such as for those deployed in the military.
Contact a Tampa Bay Car Accident Attorney
Even if you’ve been faithfully maintaining your PIP policy, insurance companies can make it difficult for you to recover the maximum amount that you need and deserve to heal. Even if you’ve exhausted PIP, it may not be enough to get you back on track physically and financially. If you’re represented by the right personal injury firm, your attorney will take on insurance companies on your behalf and explore other avenues to make sure you are getting all possible compensation.
The dedicated attorneys of Jones Law Group have successfully secured maximum compensation for countless clients. We will carefully listen to the details of your specific case to ensure we do the same for you. For a free consultation, contact us online or by phone at 727-571-1333.