Personal Injury Protection (PIP)/ MedPay Insurance
What is PIP, personal injury protection, or MedPay insurance, and why should I get it?
If you are injured in a car accident, you most likely have medical bills and other costs that are piling up, and you may have missed a substantial amount of time from work. You know that the other driver is responsible, and they will need to pay, but when?
Their insurance company might pay for your property damage quickly, but they will most likely refuse to pay your medical bills, or, if they do offer to pay your medical bills, they will want you to sign a release and settle your case for far less than its full value.
It may be a matter of months – or longer – before you have finished treating and your attorney can negotiate a settlement for the full value of your claim. In the meantime, PIP insurance provides some relief from your medical bills and puts money in your pocket with no strings attached – you don’t have to prove who was at fault, and it won’t affect your recovery that will be paid by the other driver’s insurance company.
What is PIP/ Personal Injury Protection Insurance?
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance pays your medical bills after an auto accident up to the limits of your PIP policy.
All you need to do is make a claim with your insurance company and they will write you a check, no questions asked. You don’t have to prove liability, and you don’t have to wait for the other driver’s insurance company to settle your case.
If you don’t have PIP coverage now, you can call your insurance agent and ask them to add it to your policy.
Is PIP Insurance Required in SC?
SC requires you to purchase a minimum amount of liability coverage, but PIP insurance is extra. If you want the convenience of quick and easy cash in your pocket after an auto accident, you will need to purchase PIP or MedPay coverage from your insurance agent.
How is PIP Insurance Different than Liability Insurance?
Liability insurance covers the cost of another person’s damages when you are liable for an auto accident, up to your policy limits. Once they establish that you were at fault in an accident, your insurance company should pay their damages (although your insurance company will most likely try to not pay them if possible, citing issues with liability or damages).
PIP insurance pays you after an accident, regardless of who was at fault. It covers your personal injury costs, you don’t need to prove liability before getting paid, and the insurance company will usually write the check without delay and hassle once you file the PIP claim.
What is MedPay Insurance?
Medical Payments, or MedPay, is similar to PIP coverage, and often the terms are used interchangeably.
MedPay can be purchased as your primary medical coverage after an auto accident, or it can be used as a supplement to your health insurance policy to cover deductibles and co-pays up to your MedPay policy limits. You can purchase both PIP and MedPay to cover your medical expenses after an auto accident.
What Expenses Does PIP/ MedPay Insurance Cover in SC?
PIP/ personal injury protection insurance should cover your expenses after an auto accident like:
- Medical expenses, including EMS and ER bills, hospitalization, doctor’s bills, medications, medical supplies, lab tests, dental bills, chiropractors, and psychiatric care,
- Lost wages when you must miss time from work due to your injuries,
- Childcare and household expenses while you recover from your injuries, or
- Wrongful death and survivor’s damages like funeral and burial expenses and lost income.
You will need to document your expenses to justify your PIP claim, but you will not have to argue with the other driver’s insurance to get paid. You present the claim to your insurance company, and, in most cases, they will write you a check without hassle.
Does PIP Insurance Have a Deductible?
There is no deductible for personal injury protection insurance in SC. If you were injured in a car accident, you file the claim with your insurance company and they pay the full amount up to your PIP policy limits.
Who Does PIP Insurance Cover?
PIP insurance doesn’t just cover you – it also covers authorized drivers and your passengers if you were in a car accident.
Will PIP Insurance Affect My Car Accident Claim?
In some situations, insurance payments after a car accident may be subject to subrogation or setoff, reducing your recovery paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
There is no setoff or subrogation with PIP insurance, however.
SC Code Section 38-77-144 says that, “[i]f an insurer sells no-fault insurance coverage which provides personal injury protection, medical payment coverage, or economic loss coverage, the coverage shall not be assigned or subrogated and is not subject to a setoff.”
You can take the PIP coverage from your insurance company without fear that the at-fault driver’s insurance company will attempt to use the payment to reduce your recovery in your car accident lawsuit.
When purchasing vehicle insurance in SC, you should consider buying the additional PIP/ personal injury protection that will provide you with fast cash to pay your medical expenses after an auto accident.
If you have been injured in an auto accident in South Carolina or if you have questions about MedPay/ PIP insurance payments, call the Myrtle Beach auto accident attorneys at Axelrod & Associates to find out how we can help.