Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is insurance coverage that provides financial compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and other costs resulting from personal injuries sustained in an auto accident. It is not fault-based. This means that no matter who is at fault for the crash, PIP benefits cover out-of-pocket losses from the accident.
According to Maryland law, PIP coverage ensures financial compensation to victims of motor vehicle accidents. As a result, it compensates both innocent victims and the at-fault driver.
Under Maryland Insurance Code Section 19-505(a), there are seven categories of PIP coverage. These include:
- Insured party
- Guests in the insured vehicle
- Insured’s household family members
- Permissive users
- Passengers in the car
- Injured pedestrians covered by the insured vehicle’s policy
While Maryland law does not mandate PIP coverage, insurance companies must offer it when selling an auto insurance policy. You can waive this coverage by executing a written waiver if you choose not to have it. However, government-owned vehicles, taxi cabs, buses, and motorcycles are exempt from requesting a waiver.
PIP coverage in Maryland can be highly advantageous when injured in a car accident, as it may allow you to recover twice for medical bills and lost wages.
The minimum PIP insurance in Maryland is $2,500. Some people have additional personal injury protection policies with higher limits, such as $20,000. The specific amount will be listed on the insurance policy for the vehicle involved in the accident. Contact your insurance provider if you’re interested in discussing your coverage or if you want to make changes.
Which Coverage Should I Use First?
PIP coverage takes precedence over health insurance. However, it is often more beneficial, for multiple reasons, to first seek reimbursement for lost wages before submitting your medical bills. Why? If you are unable to work, you need the money you have lost as soon as possible.
Will My Premium Increase If I File a PIP Claim?
No. For the last 10 years, insurance companies can no longer increase rates due to PIP claims, as long as they weren’t negligent or at fault for the accident.
Remember that you only have one year from the date of the accident to initiate a claim. You can receive benefits for up to three years, but you must file the claim within the first year. Contacting a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident ensures you won’t miss any deadlines.