What You Need To Know About Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Texas

Personal injury protection can be a very important part of your insurance profile. PIP is required by statute to be part of an auto policy that is written in the state of Texas unless the insured waives the coverage in writing.

The statutory minimum personal injury protection coverage is $2500 however, the PIP coverage can be written in almost any amount should you desire additional coverage.

Personal injury protection covers everyone in the insured vehicle up to the PIP policy limits. PIP also covers every insured regardless of what vehicle they are in at the time of an accident. PIP coverage is paid when there is a “motor vehicle accident” under the standard auto policy.

Payments under the PIP policy apply to covered losses that are incurred within three years of the accident date. Generally, the insurer must pay the claim within 30 days of receipt of the claim.

Case law indicates that inn some instances, when there are two separate PIP policies they can be stacked on top of each other to fully compensate for damages.

What are PIP benefits?

Personal injury protection provides payment for the following:

* Necessary medical expenses;

* Replacement of lost income; and

* Reimbursement for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for central services normally performed by the injured person for the family or the household.

PIP benefits are paid regardless of fault or other available coverage or benefits, however an offset can be sometimes applied when a liability claim is being made under the same policy as the PIP.

Recently many insurance companies have pretended to be health insurance companies and are discounting payments to their insured quoting that the expenses charged by the healthcare providers were not “reasonable expenses”. The validity of this approach depends upon the specific facts of the claim. If a medical provider insists on full payment, it seems unlikely that courts would require the insured to be on the hook for the unpaid bill that the insurer has “discounted”.

Personal injury protection can be a very important part of your auto insurance coverage and can make a bad situation a little bit better if you carry the coverage. We recommend that consumers in Texas carry personal injury protection, if they can afford it and that they carry personal injury protection instead of medical payments coverage.

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