What is Personal Injury Protection or PIP Insurance?

Posted by Scott Edwards | Jan 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

Does your auto insurance policy have personal injury protection or “PIP” coverage? Most policies do, but is it enough coverage in the event of an accident that results in high medical bills?

In the state of Washington, Personal Injury Protection Insurance or PIP insurance, is automatically written into all insurance policies – unless the policy holder adamantly refuses. The minimum limits are $10,000, but policy holders may elect to increase the coverage by paying a higher premium.

Regardless of who may be “at fault” for a crash, PIP insurance covers the “reasonable and necessary” expenses such as medical bills and wage loss following a crash. Because the limits are often smaller, we typically see clients who have “exhausted” their PIP coverage during the initial emergency room visit following a crash.

When this happens, unless other coverage such as health insurance steps in, the injured party will be personally responsible for all unpaid medical bills until money is secured from an at-fault third party through settlement or court judgment. Many times medical providers will even place a lien on any amounts received.

If you are worried about this, you should talk with your insurance agent about increasing your PIP limit. Most insurance carriers offer increased limits of up to $35,000.

Interested in more information about PIP insurance coverage? Read our recent article, Pedestrians, PIP and Uninsured Motorist Protection.

About the Author

Scott Edwards

Scott Edwards is a partner at Schauermann Thayer Jacobs Staples & Edwards law firm. Scott is licensed in both Oregon and Washington, and has been practicing law since 2008. Though Scott started his career working for insurance companies, he now focuses his practice on personal injury, auto accident, biking accident, and insurance cases. In his free time, Scott enjoys spending time pedaling around the streets of Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon on his bicycle.


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The attorneys at Schauermann Thayer handle personal injury, wrongful death, and insurance actions for clients throughout the Southwest Washington and Portland, Oregon area.


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