According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 11 million car accidents reported in the U.S. in 2012 and more than 34,000 people died as a result. Protecting yourself and your family on the roadways requires a safe and reliable car, safe driving habits and the support of a smart car insurance policy. Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is an option you can add to most car insurance policies that will pay for a host of accident-related expenses should you, your passengers or your family members be injured (or worse) in a car accident. If you are a GEICO customer, adding PIP is an easy and affordable option you have.
No fault coverage basics
All states set some minimum required level of liability car insurance that licensed drivers are compelled to carry. Liability coverage is in place to assure other drivers that should you cause an accident, they will have some recourse for their expenses. There are some states that are considered no fault states where car insurance law is concerned and in these states, drivers must also carry some form or no fault coverage – typically either a medical payments option or a PIP option. These policy options pay to treat injuries sustained by drivers and passengers in car accidents regardless of who is ultimately determined to be at fault.
If you live and drive in any of the following states, you will need to have some form of no fault coverage in place:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
Deciding which no fault option to carry may be determined for you by state law. Generally, medical payment coverage will pay for fewer events than a PIP option.
What PIP covers
PIP coverage with can provide support and financial assistance to you, any passengers riding with you and any named insured family members for things like:
- Medical bills and related expenses (such as a lengthy hospital stay, transportation to an emergency facility from the scene of an accident, long-term rehabilitation services, etc.)
- Lost wages if you or an injured insured loses the ability to go back to work after an accident
- Collateral costs related to injuries, like childcare, lawn maintenance, or travel expenses for medical treatment
- Funeral expenses in the case of a fatality
In some instances, a PIP option through GEICO will also cover you or your family members should a car hit you while you are riding a bike or walking a city street.
You say you have health insurance?
Some people may believe that if they have health insurance coverage – either personally or through their employer – they won’t need an option like PIP. While it’s true that many of the same expense are covered by health insurance and a PIP option, there are some important differences.
For one thing, most health insurance plans will come with a deductible you and your family will have to meet before the insurance kicks in. More and more health insurance plans also come with co-pays and with networks of health care providers you must use to get full coverage. PIP plans do not have deductibles and should you or a family member be injured, you will be treated by the nearest available care provider and your PIP plan will cover it.
Car insurance plans with a PIP option do have caps or limits of coverage you can set (in some cases these limits are set by state law) and you may want to gear your GEICO PIP coverage to coordinate with your health insurance. For example, some folks set the limits of their PIP coverage to cover the deductible and co-pay amounts set by their health insurance coverage.
One other thing to remember when considering adding PIP to your car insurance coverage – it covers all the passengers riding in your car. You health insurance plan is likely limited to you and your immediate family members.
PIP is just one of many options you can add to a GEICO car insurance policy to keep you and your family well protected in the event of a serious car accident.
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