What Is PIP?
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of insurance coverage that gives a policyholder the option to file a claim with his or her own insurance company following an automobile accident.
Also known as no-fault insurance, PIP helps cover expenses like medical bills, lost wages, and funeral costs following an accident—regardless of who is at fault. In this article, we examine PIP in Texas.
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Personal Injury Protection
Pursuant to section 1952.152 of the Texas Insurance Code, insurers are required to offer PIP to their policyholders. Coverage may be included in a supplemental policy or as part of an auto liability policy. Policyholders who wish to decline PIP coverage must do so in writing. However, as discussed below, it is rarely advisable to decline such coverage.
How Does PIP Work in Texas?
PIP is a type of insurance that doesn’t consider who caused an automobile accident. In other words, it applies regardless of which driver in an accident was at fault. In Texas, PIP may be used for the following:
- Driver medical bills
- Passenger medical bills
- Lost wages
- Certain non-medical costs
- Rehabilitation costs
- Funeral expenses
- Survivor benefits
In addition, since PIP is paid out regardless of who is at fault, there is no extended waiting period. This is highly beneficial to motorists and provides needed funds to injured parties who can’t wait for a lawsuit to conclude or an insurance company to determine fault.
The Importance of PIP Coverage
PIP is important because it covers unexpected events that occur on the road. For example, PIP offers coverage in the following situations:
- One driver is injured in an auto accident, and the other driver flees the scene and can’t be located
- One driver is injured in an auto accident, and the other driver doesn’t have insurance
- One driver is injured in an auto accident, but the other driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the injured driver’s medical expenses
In each of these situations, it would be significantly tougher for the injured driver to receive compensaiton without PIP insurance.
Why Claim PIP?
Since claiming PIP will not cause a driver’s insurance rates to go up, there is generally no reason not to claim it. The only time a driver’s insurance is impacted is if he or she causes an accident with damage over $1,000.
In addition, PIP is generally accessible within weeks or a month after an accident. Thus, an injured driver can use it to pay for his or her initial recovery. However, for costs that exceed the funds provided by PIP, an injured driver may need to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
PIP vs. Med-Pay
There is often confusion regarding the difference between PIP and Med-Pay. Med-Pay is an insurance coverage that is sometimes offered to replace PIP by auto insurance companies for car accident injury cases. Unfortunately, however, Med-Pay coverage is not as extensive as PIP coverage.
PIP Benefit Limits
Texas law requires that each driver is offered at least $2,500 in PIP coverage. Specifically, under PIP, the following coverage is offered:
- $2,500 or more in coverage
- Coverage for the policyholder, in-house family members, and additional drivers with permission to drive the covered vehicle
- Reasonable medical expenses relating to an auto accident within three years of the accident date
- Funeral expenses
- 80% of lost wages or essential services for an unemployed individual
And although offering $2,500 in coverage is required, drivers may pay more for higher coverage amounts of $5,000 to $10,000 for additional protection.
Texas Minimum Auto Insurance Coverage 2022
Texas is often referred to as having 30/60/25 liability coverage. This coverage outlines the minimum liability coverage that a policyholder must obtain if he or she lives and drives in Texas. Policyholders are free to pay for more coverage, but the higher the coverage, the more the policy costs will rise. As of 2022, the minimum auto insurance liability coverage in Texas is as follows:
- $30,000 per person in bodily injury liability
- $60,000 per accident in bodily injury liability
- $25,000 per accident in property damage liability
These amounts are mandated by statute. And if a driver is leasing or financing an automobile, the lender is entitled to demand that the driver have higher coverage limits.
Contact a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident in the State of Texas, you need an experienced car accident lawyer on your side. At Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have over 45 years of combined experience. When you come to us for help following your Texas car crash, we will put our ample experience to work for you.
And most importantly, with our proven track record of winning for our clients, we will do everything in our power to obtain financial compensation on your behalf. Please contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our talented lawyers.