Updated: March 2017
If you're injured in an accident, one type of auto insurance coverage that may be beneficial to have is Personal Injury Protection
. Although it's not available in all states, it is required in others. Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, can help protect you in case you're injured in an accident.
Some people automatically assume that if they already have health care coverage, PIP isn't necessary, but that might not always be true. Your health insurance has deductibles and limits, and an auto insurance policy with PIP can help you cover your health insurance deductible or pay costs over the limits if you're hurt in a crash.
Also, there are various other costs stemming from a covered accident that PIP may help you pay, in addition to medical and hospital bills, including:
Income continuation. If you're in a situation where your time off work makes you lose money as a result of an accident, PIP can help compensate you for the wages you lose.
Loss of services. PIP can help you pay for costs associated with having to pay someone to take your kids to and from school, grocery delivery fees if you're laid up and unable to shop for yourself or child care expenses if your injuries have temporarily made it impossible for you to take care of your children.
Funeral expenses. Although it's something no one probably wants to have to think about, funeral expenses can be costly. If the worst happens when you're behind the wheel, PIP can help your family pay for the cost of your funeral.
First, if you live in a state where PIP is required, you should make sure you're meeting your state's requirements. Otherwise, consider how high of a limit on your personal injury protection you need and can afford, as your insurance premiums will increase as you raise your limits. You could consider how much coverage you would actually need if you were to find yourself unable to work or care for your family because of an accident-related injury. Before you decide, consider making a list of all your current expenses and factor in additional expenses like child care and lost wages for an entire year. Once you have this figure, you can begin to get an idea of how much personal injury protection you may need.
If you have questions about how PIP works, or to find out how much PIP will cost you, get on the phone and talk to an insurance agent about your options. You might discover that the peace of mind PIP brings is worth every penny.