Personal Injury Protection Coverage:Talk to Your Automobile Insurance Agent

Personal Injury Protection Coverage:Talk to Your Automobile Insurance Agent

In Minnesota, all of us good citizens who carry insurance on our automobiles (sad to say there are a lot of not-so-good citizen drivers out there who do not insure their vehicles) have what is called “NO-FAULT PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP) COVERAGE”. This PIP coverage includes at least $20,000 in medical coverage for treatment of motor vehicle related injuries, including the costs of ambulance rides, hospitalizations, x-rays and CT/MRI scans, surgery, physical therapy, chiropractic care, etc. This PIP coverage also provides at least $20,000 in PIP wage loss benefits; but that wage loss is paid out at a maximum rate of only $250/week. That amount has not changed since 1974 (!) when Minnesota first passed the NO-FAULT legislation.

STACKING PIP COVERAGE

Obviously, for a moderate to high income earner, $250/week does not go very far as a wage loss replacement. For any family with two or more vehicles insured under the same auto insurance policy, the concept of “STACKING” PIP coverages should be discussed with the family’s insurance agent. For example, if a family has 3 vehicles insured under the same auto policy, they can elect to STACK their PIP coverages, which suddenly increases the total medical coverage to 3 X $20,000 = $60,000, and provides up to $60,000 in PIP wage loss paid out at a maximum of 3 X $250 = $750/week. The additional cost for “stacking” PIP coverage is relatively modest (ask your agent for a quote) and the additional coverages can be very helpful, especially for wage earners who do not have disability insurance.

PROTECT YOUR FAMILY WITH AN UMBRELLA

If you have significant assets to protect, another good question to ask your insurance agent is the cost of an UMBRELLA LIABILITY POLICY to provide you and your family with additional liability insurance in the event of an accident you or a family member causes. Always ask for the umbrella coverage to also provide you and your family with additional underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) and uninsured motorist coverage (UM), which are coverages that protect you and your family from the negligence of those “not-so-good citizens” who drive without enough insurance or with no insurance at all. These irresponsible folks are the ones who cause a disproportionate number of serious automobile crashes. You need to make sure you are protected by having enough UM and UIM insurance to cover you and your family from the kinds of injuries that these drivers can cause. Ask your agent for quotes for the cost of these additional coverages. They should be happy to provide that information for you.

For over 27 years, attorney Mark Streed has effectively served his clients as lawyer advocate, trusted adviser and counselor. Mark Streed specializes in personal injury, traumatic brain injury, slip and fall, and truck accident cases. View Mark’s profile.

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