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Posted on 05-10-2012
Understanding what Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is can be confusing at first but we want to help you gain a better understanding of what PIP is and why you should use it! Most often people have PIP coverage and are not aware of it. Occassionally your insurance representative will tell you that you do not have this coverage; however, according to Washington state law, you must personally sign a waiver to "opt out" of personal injury protection. If you did not sign a waiver then you do have personal injury protection. Don't be afraid to ask your insurance representative to show you the form that you signed to opt out if they say you dont have PIP coverage.
What is Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP)? PIP is insurance coverage added into your auto policy. The amount of PIP coverage can range from $10,000 to beyond $50,000. If you're in an auto accident, up to certain limits, it'll help pay for medical expenses, wage loss, loss of services and funeral expenses. PIP applies no matter who is at fault. But be aware there are some situations when it doesn't apply such as getting in a motorcycle accident so we encourage you to read your insurance policy.
Who does it cover? PIP covers the person named on the policy, the household residents related by blood, marriage or adoption, step- or foster children, and any non-family passengers and pedestrians involved in the accident.
When you decide to use your PIP, follow these steps to make the process easier. Call your insurance agent and ask if you have PIP. If yes, ask about limits on time and dollar amount. Ask your agent to take your Report of Loss claim and ask your agent to report it to the claims office. Be sure to ask your agent to call back with the claim number, address and phone number of the claims office since you will need to give this to your medical providers. Call the claims office and get the name of the claims adjuster handling your claim and ask them to mail a PIP Application, Attending Physician's Report and Salary Verification forms. Be prompt and complete the PIP Application and return it to the claims adjuster quickly. When you go see your doctor, have your doctor fill out the Attending Physician's Report form and return it to you so you can mail it to the claims adjuster. Also, notify your medical providers to bill your PIP carrier.
Here are the reason why you should always use your PIP coverage if you are able to. Your insurance company, by law, cannot increase your insurance rates for using your PIP. PIP covers medical bills, a portion of your weekly lost wages, and for household care and cleaning. Your insurance company, by law, cannot cancel your policy for using your PIP. If you have not rejected PIP coverage in writing, then you are deemed to have it. PIP is no-fault, so it doesn't matter who caused the accident, you're still covered. PIP coverage is for a minimum of $10,000. Some policies have higher limits. There is no deductible or up front copays. Most importantly, you are paying for a service so you should use it!
For additonal information, we recommend that you visit these additonal websites. http://www.insurance.wa.gov/consumers/auto/PIP.shtml http://www.glpattorneys.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/PIP_Card_NS-Combined1.pdf
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