March 24, 2010

When To Buy More Than State Required Levels For Personal Injury Protection

Being injured in a vehicle accident can be traumatic, painful and result in a great deal of recovery time. Injuring someone else can be costly. As a result, every state mandates a minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) for all auto insurance policies, which covers passengers in your vehicle and the driver and passengers of the other vehicle in the event of a collision. This amount can vary from state to state, with some requiring coverage of $10,000 and some requiring $50,000. While these numbers seem quite high, PIP protection is meant to cover all persons involved in an accident, and can be used up extremely quickly. Any amounts above and beyond the coverage provided by your insurance policy will be left up to you as the driver to supply, which can result in a massive financial strain.

Typically, auto insurance quotes will include over the bare minimum of protection when they are issued to consumers. This increases rates slightly, but also offers better protection. Often, people choose to reduce their coverage down to the bare essentials as a way of saving money on their monthly premiums. However, if you live in a state with an extremely low PIP limit, or you frequently transport other individuals, as with a growing family or with elderly parents living at home, increasing PIP can do a great deal to ease the burden if an accident occurs.

Options also exist to increase your bodily injury (BI) coverage, which will cover injuries to you as the driver, and your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage – UM and UIM, respectively. These types of insurance pay out if the other party has little or no insurance coverage, and can be of great benefit if multiple people are injured or there is a great deal of property damage. Raising insurance coverage and getting a higher auto insurance quote also makes sense in states that follow a purely no-fault collision system. In these states, both insurance companies will always pay out if used, and no driver will be declared at fault. This limits litigation options, but can also cost a driver a great deal of money if they and their family are injured by another driver who has limited insurance. The law in these states does not allow suing to recover costs, and so a robust insurance policy is key.

Car insurance quotes will vary by provider and by state. Make sure to know what the minimums in your state are for all types of coverage, and then determine what works best for your needs. Large families, or those who transport others on a regular basis, may wish to consider increasing their PIP coverage to ensure the best protection.