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Auto Insurance:  A New Discussion

By July 23, 2020July 29th, 2020No Fault Auto Reform, Personal Insurance
steering wheel of a car looking through to dashboard

The majority of auto insurance claims and auto accident lawsuits are for medical expenses.  We’ve all had Unlimited Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for over four decades.  No-Fault Auto Reform has given us new choices by allowing us to rely more on our health insurance to cover these expenses.  These new choices demand a little bit of research and a new discussion with your auto insurance agent and your healthcare provider.

Even before No-Fault Auto Reform, we’ve been able to have our health insurance policy cover medical expenses from auto accidents by making the health insurance “primary” and our PIP “excess”.  The discount generated by “Excess PIP” makes this an option worth considering.  You’re eligible for Excess PIP if (1) your health insurance covers medical expenses from auto accidents, and (2) you aren’t relying on Medicare or Medicaid.  Excess PIP hasn’t changed with No-Fault Auto Reform.

What’s new with No-Fault Auto Reform

You are now able to choose PIP limits and completely remove PIP from the responsibility of paying your medical expenses from an auto accident.

Although there are now six PIP options to choose from, most people are eligible for four of them.

Everyone is eligible for the following three choices:  Unlimited PIP (what we’ve had for 40+ years), and for PIP limits of $500,000 and $250,000.  If you’re eligible for Excess PIP, it applies to all of these options.

Your eligibility for the remaining three choices depends on your health care coverage.  If you have a qualified health insurance plan you can opt-out of PIP.  If you have Medicare you can opt-out of PIP.  If you’re on Medicaid you can get a $50,000 PIP limit.  These PIP options will save you the most on your auto insurance bill, but they won’t cover your medical expenses from an auto accident as well as PIP does.

Bottom line:

Talk this through with your insurance agent and your health insurance provider.  The farther you get from Unlimited PIP, the more you risk paying your own auto accident medical expenses or needing to sue involved parties (if there are any) to get your medical expenses paid for.  There’s no rush on this — you can keep Unlimited PIP until you figure this all out!

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