Written by attorney Sean Michael Cichowski

Understanding Insurance: Uninsured/Uninsured Motorist, Personal Injury Protection and MedPay

What happens when you are injured in a car wreck and the driver at fault has no insurance or only a minimum limits policy?

If you have ** uninsured/underinsured coverage(UM), ** personal injury protection (PIP) or Medical Payment (MedPay), your insurance should cover the costs of medical care and other losses suffered because of the wreck.

Lets talk about what these three insurance policies are: UM/UIM, PIP, and MedPay are all insurance provisions in your auto insurance policy. When you sign up with an auto insurance company, they will offer you these coverages. Coverage under these policies will raise your premiums, but if you are ** hit by a driver without insurance** or without sufficient insurance, you will be glad to have them. There are two types of UM/UIM policies:

  • A Bodily Injury UM/UIM policy pays for medical bills, lost wages, disfigurement, disability, and pain and suffering for yourself, your family members, and passengers in your car.
  • Property Damage UM/UIM coverage pays for repairs, rental vehicles, and damage to the stuff in your car.

UM/UIM pays these expenses up to the policy limits you select. UM/UIM also pays for wrecks caused by hit-and-run drivers, but only if you report the wreck to the police promptly.

PIP coverage pays medical bills, funeral costs, the cost of hiring a caregiver, and up to 80 percent of lost income on any wreck. PIP coverage pays whether or not the other car has insurance. PIP covers you, your family members, and passengers in the car, no matter who caused the wreck.

In Texas, an insurance company must offer at least $2,500 in PIP coverage, but you can always buy more. If you do not want PIP, you must reject the coverage in writing. PIP coverage is a fantastic safety net for people who are hurt in a wreck and might miss work. MedPay is similar to PIP in that it pays regardless of who was at fault, but it is limited to paying for medical expenses only. While MedPay coverage is better than no coverage if you've been in a wreck, PIP provides much more comprehensive coverage.

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