Many people throughout Washington State assume that basic car insurance will cover them in the event of personal injury. We’ll show you exactly what to look for in your policy to make sure you’re protected if you get into a car accident and suffer injuries when you’re not at fault.
Some important things to ask about your policy include:
- Do you have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance to cover your medical expenses related to an accident?
- Do you have uninsured/under-insured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage?
Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance
One of the most common misconceptions is that if you’re injured in a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance must pay your medical bills up front. In fact, insurance companies are not required to pay you or any of your medical bills until time of settlement in almost all situations. PIP insurance is one way to protect yourself, as it is a no-fault system that will pay your medical bills up to a certain amount related to the auto-accident automatically.
Uninsured/under-insured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage
Arguably more important than PIP coverage, UM/UIM insurance is a way to protect yourself if you’re injured in a car accident by someone who has no insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to compensate you for your injuries, wage loss, and pain and suffering. At a time when studies estimate that approximately one third of drivers in Eastern Washington do not have insurance, UM/UIM coverage can protect you when you’re caught in that situation.
Protect yourself and find out what kind of coverage you have today. Without understanding how PIP or UM/UIM insurance can help you, and if you have it, you may be left to pay significant medical bills and other damages out of pocket, and may receive no recovery if you’re ever injured in an auto accident.