What Is PIP Coverage? Do I Need It in Texas?
Auto insurance is a necessary evil for drivers in Texas. It’s expensive to carry, but the law requires you to maintain certain levels of auto insurance, and for good reason: If you cause a crash and cause someone else to suffer $50,000 in medical costs, chances are you can’t afford to pay them back out of pocket. Where does PIP protection fit in? Is PIP another type of liability insurance? Is it required, like other forms of auto insurance? If it’s not required, is it worth paying for, or is it just another way for insurance companies to make money? For an explanation of PIP coverage and how it operates in Texas, continue reading. For help after an accident caused by a negligent driver in Dallas, call a seasoned Texas traffic accident attorney for assistance.
What Is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage?
Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage is a form of auto insurance. PIP coverage protects drivers and their passengers in the event of an accident. If you get into an accident, your PIP will pay you and any passengers in your vehicle for certain costs, regardless of who was at fault for the accident.
PIP coverage includes:
- Medical costs, including surgeries, medications, diagnostics (x-rays, CT scans, etc.), prosthetics, nursing care, physical therapy, medical devices, etc.
- Ambulance costs
- Funeral services
- Lost wages due to injury and recovery
- Replacement of necessary services normally provided by the injured party, such as child care or household maintenance
PIP insurance kicks in regardless of fault and applies to the person who is insured. PIP insurance is distinguished from liability insurance, which kicks in when the insured party is at fault for an accident that harms someone else. Auto liability insurance pays for someone else’s costs when the insured party causes a crash. If you were hit by a negligent driver, for example, you could file a claim with that driver’s insurance company under their liability insurance coverage.
Do I Need PIP Coverage in Texas?
Texas law requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of auto liability insurance. Drivers must carry policies that cover at least $30,000 per injured person in an accident, $60,000 for multiple injured parties in a single accident, and $25,000 in property damage. Those minimums, however, refer to liability insurance; every driver must have sufficient coverage to pay for someone else’s damages should that driver cause an accident. Those minimums do not apply to PIP coverage.
Insurance companies in Texas are required by law to offer PIP coverage to drivers who are obtaining auto liability insurance. Insurers must offer at least $2,500 in PIP coverage. Drivers can, however, opt out of PIP coverage in order to pay less for their auto insurance coverage. The law does not require drivers to carry PIP insurance.
Although it’s not required, we’d strongly encourage any drivers in Texas to opt for PIP coverage. PIP insurance protects you when you’re hit by a driver who flees the scene (hit & run), or when you’re hit by a driver who does not carry the legally required insurance (uninsured or underinsured drivers). It also protects you in the event you cause either a single-vehicle accident or an accident with another person or vehicle. Unlike liability insurance, claiming PIP does not cause your insurance rates to rise.
PIP coverage is especially helpful if multiple occupants of your vehicle are injured. The coverage applies on a per-person basis. If you carry $5,000 in PIP coverage, for example, and you and your spouse are both injured in an accident, you can get up to $5,000 in coverage for yourself and another $5,000 for your spouse.
If you or a family member has been injured in a Texas traffic accident, please contact the Turley Law Firm online or call 214-691-4025 or email email@example.com today to schedule your free consultation. Our dedicated Dallas attorneys serve clients throughout Texas and multiple Southern and Southwestern states.