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  • Writer's pictureLori Haskell

What is PIP and Why Should You Have it?

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

PIP stands for Personal Injury Protection. It's part of your car insurance policy if you have elected to pay for PIP--and you should. PIP pays medical bills and reimburses lost wages. The policies in Washington are either for $10,000 or $35,000. Many people come to me and do not have health care insurance to pay for medical bills that pile up after an accident. PIP is the way to get your injuries treated even if you don't have health insurance which covers the treatment you need. For the money you put in at the front end--purchasing your policy--buying the maximum in PIP can be a life saver. If you've run out of sick leave at work you have your PIP policy to make sure your wages are being paid. I always recommend choosing $35,000 in PIP if you can possibly afford it. Medical bills incurred because of a car accident will be sent to the PIP carrier and should be covered. The amount of medical bills after injury in a car accident help in assessing the value of your case. If you cannot pay for medical treatment it negatively impacts how your case is valued--another reason to have PIP. It's a sure way to prove your injuries required treatment even if you don't have health care to cover your preferred form of treatment.

A good example is chiropractic care. Most health care policies only approve a certain number of visits. However, treatment paid for under your PIP counts against the total value of your PIP policy [$10-$35,000] rather than counting the number of chiropractic visits. In Washington the insurance carrier has to offer PIP and you either accept it or sign a waiver. Your best bet is to choose PIP as part of your insurance coverage and the maximum you can afford. It supplants your health insurance or sick leave from work until you hit the maximum benefit you have chosen in your car insurance policy.

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