Personal injury protection is coverage you can add to your regular car insurance policy to help pay for wage loss, medical and hospital expenses, loss of services and funeral expenses, all damages your typical insurance plan does not cover. If you pay for PIP, the law requires your insurance company to pay out your claim regardless of who was at fault for the accident. In a state like Washington, PIP is handy to have, especially if you cause an accident or if you sustain injuries in an accident caused by an uninsured motorist. That said, does the state require drivers to carry PIP? No, it does not.
Because Washington is a fault accident state, it does not require drivers to carry this heightened level of protection. However, according to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner Washington State, your insurance company must offer it to you. If you elect not to invest in PIP, you must reject the coverage in writing. If you fail to do so, your car insurance provider will add it to your policy and charge you for it.
If you have PIP insurance, you have fairly comprehensive coverage. In addition to the protections that your standard policy provides, PIP provides up to $10,000 for essential and sensible hospital and medical expenses for each individual who sustained injuries in the accident. These funds are available to you for up to three years after the date of the accident. PIP coverage also gives you up to $2,000 to pay for the funeral costs of each person who dies in a car wreck.
If you have PIP coverage and miss work because of injuries sustained in the accident, your insurance provider will give you up to $200 per week, up to a total of $10,000, to compensate for your lost income. You may opt to pay a bit more to increase your weekly pay to $700.
If you need help performing work you cannot do because of your injuries, you can collect up to $200, for a total of $5,000, to pay non-family members for services rendered. Like with wage loss benefits, you can increase the coverage amount to $14,600 for an additional fee.
The content in this post is meant to educate. It should not be used as legal advice.