Don’t Waive Your PIP Insurance Coverage in Maryland!
Car insurance serves as a safety net for drivers in the unfortunate event of an accident. However, it’s important to note that a standard auto insurance policy may not provide coverage in all scenarios. To ensure comprehensive protection, it’s essential to include specific policies in your plan. One such policy is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance, which should not be overlooked or dismissed due to its crucial role in safeguarding against financial hardship.
Many drivers often downplay the potential financial consequences of a car accident. While the other driver involved in the incident may rely on your policy for their expenses, it’s equally critical to ensure your financial security. Therefore, having a well-rounded insurance plan that includes PIP coverage is an effective way to protect yourself against unforeseen costs associated with car accidents.
Let’s take this opportunity to discuss why waiving your PIP insurance is a bad idea. Continue below to learn the basics of that coverage and its many benefits.
How Does PIP Insurance Work?
Unlike bodily injury and property damage liability, PIP insurance prioritizes your losses. It covers your medical expenses and lost wages.
On top of that, PIP insurance also takes effect no matter who is at fault for an accident. You can secure that important financial aid even if there are lingering questions about your role in the crash.
The Option to Waive PIP in Maryland
Per the Maryland Insurance Administration, in Maryland, the law stipulates that all auto insurance providers must offer Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage as part of their standard packages. The baseline amount for this coverage is set at $2,500.
However, the state does provide an option for you to forego this coverage for yourself. To do this, you need to sign a written waiver indicating your decision to opt out of PIP coverage. It’s a straightforward process, but it’s essential to understand what it implies.
While you can waive PIP coverage for yourself, it’s crucial to note that this doesn’t extend to any passengers in your vehicle or any pedestrians or bicyclists who might be involved in an incident with your car. They are still covered under the PIP.
If you choose not to sign the Limited PIP waiver, rest assured that you’ll automatically receive the full PIP protection. This is a safety net put in place to ensure that everyone on the road has some level of protection.
In essence, while waiving PIP coverage is an option, it’s important to weigh the benefits and potential risks before making this decision.
What Are the Reasons People Waive PIP Insurance?
Before we dive any deeper into PIP coverage, let’s use this opportunity to discuss why some motorists hesitate to sign up for it.
Unsurprisingly, a common complaint about PIP coverage is the extra cost. Some people want to save as much money as they can on insurance. If the only way to save money involves waiving coverage, they will choose that option. Other drivers may waive PIP insurance so they can use the savings elsewhere.
Drivers may also justify their decision to waive PIP coverage because it is an optional policy. They may argue that PIP coverage would be a mandatory purchase if it were essential. Since they can get away with not purchasing PIP coverage, they may see it as an unnecessary purchase.
Lastly, some drivers may waive PIP coverage, believing their health insurance already covers them. It is true that health insurance may step in and cover your medical expenses following a car accident, but there are caveats you should know about.
For example, your compensation may be affected if you use health insurance to pay for your medical expenses. Your provider may have the right to recoup their expenses from the other driver’s insurer, which may impact your payout.
In addition, your health insurer may require you to pay a deductible before they cover your bills. There is a chance you cannot pay that deductible because you have been in the hospital for a while.
What Are the Benefits of Personal Injury Protection Insurance in Maryland?
We touched on some of the ways PIP coverage can help you out of a potentially challenging financial situation, but it is worth expanding on that. In this section of the article, we will highlight the many benefits PIP coverage provides. Before deciding if PIP insurance is worth your hard-earned money, go through each point.
PIP Coverage Protects a Lot of People
Because PIP coverage focuses on the policyholder, many people gloss over the fact that it offers wide-ranging protection. Aside from the policyholder, PIP coverage also protects members of your family who sustain injuries from any auto accident. The coverage also accounts for anyone who is injured while inside your vehicle. Your PIP coverage will also come into play if your vehicle injures pedestrians.
It is important to remember the type of protection PIP coverage offers when you are deliberating its merits. Can you afford to go without the protection PIP coverage grants your family? Answering that question may tell you if that coverage is worth it.
PIP Coverage Provides Payment for Essential Services
PIP coverage can also offer financial support covering certain services an accident victim may have rendered if not for their injuries. According to the Maryland Insurance Administration, PIP coverage accounts for “any reasonable and necessary expenses to provide for essential services which that person would have provided for the care and maintenance of his or her family or household.”
Thanks to PIP coverage, you do not need to worry about your injuries depriving your household of essential services. Your family can remain healthy and comfortable because of your sensible planning.
PIP Coverage Is Easily Affordable
Earlier in this article, we noted that some motorists may decide against getting PIP insurance because they do not want another expense. That line of thinking makes sense initially, but it does not account for the actual costs of PIP coverage.
How much should you expect to spend on PIP insurance? On average, that additional coverage will only cost you around $100 annually. Remember that you are getting up to $2,500 worth of protection from that $100 payment. Pay $150 for annual PIP coverage, and your policy limit doubles to $5,000.
Your PIP coverage rates will also remain the same even if you use that policy. The payments you must make will not suddenly increase because you already had to rely on PIP coverage.
Using PIP coverage also means covering your medical expenses without paying a deductible first. If you need urgent medical care, it is good to know that the terms of your insurance will not prevent you from receiving it.
PIP Coverage Offers Prompt Payouts
Ideally, you should be able to claim a payout quickly if you are not the party responsible for an accident. The other party’s insurer should offer compensation without any delay to pay for your treatment on time. Unfortunately, we all know that is not how things work in the real world.
Even if the other driver involved is responsible for the crash, you can expect them to contest your claim every step of the way. They may even suggest that you share blame for the accident, so contributory negligence can stop you from getting a payout.
The bottom line is you should not expect your car accident claim to be handled quickly. Of course, you may not be able to use that as a reason to avoid your bills. You will need to come up with money to cover your bills in the event your lawsuit is delayed.
PIP coverage becomes helpful in that scenario. The payout from PIP insurance does not depend on who is responsible for the accident, so your insurer must complete it no matter what.
Notably, PIP claims are rare examples of claims you can submit without consulting a lawyer beforehand. You can instruct your lawyer to focus on your personal injury lawsuit while you work on the PIP claim. That efficient approach to securing payouts will help you navigate the tricky aftermath of an auto accident.
PIP Coverage Remains in Effect for a While
You are not under a strict deadline to file a PIP claim if you believe you need it. PIP insurance can cover any necessary medical expenses you incurred within one year of the accident date.
That is a big deal because not all the injuries people sustain from a car accident are obvious immediately. Concussions, in particular, are notorious for having delayed symptoms. You may not experience the onset of concussion symptoms for days, weeks, or even months after your accident. It is good to know that you can pay for treatment even if your symptoms are delayed.
PIP Coverage Grants You Peace of Mind
Finally, paying for PIP coverage when you purchase auto insurance is a good idea simply because it offers peace of mind. The immediate aftermath of a car accident can be stressful for everyone involved. Not knowing whether you can pay your medical bills and other essential expenses can only heighten your anxiety.
Having PIP coverage will not free you from stress entirely, but it will greatly help. You can focus on your recovery instead of trying to secure a payout as soon as possible.
Car Accident Attorney in Baltimore, Maryland
Car accident cases are complex matters. There is no guarantee your case will turn out in your favor, even if the facts are on your side. Whether or not you receive a favorable outcome may depend on the quality of your legal representation.
In need of a skilled car accident attorney in Baltimore? Look no further than John Leppler from Leppler Injury Law. His expertise and dedication to his clients are unparalleled. With a clear, professional, and approachable style, he makes complex legal matters easier to understand.