I’m going to let you in on a little secret that the insurance companies do NOT want you know about.  It’s the type of secret that the industry tries their hardest to keep under wraps; even though the agents tell you about it in the very beginning of every policy purchase.  Seems a bit contradictory doesn’t it?  Well the secret that I’m talking about is what’s known as Personal Injury Protection or PIP.

What is PIP?

PIP is, in essence, built in health insurance to your auto insurance policy.  Its sole purpose is to provide financial coverage for your medical bills to every single occupant of the vehicle that has been injured, regardless of who is responsible for the crash.

The key to this whole situation is, “If they have been injured.”  It does not mean that you must go to a hospital to activate your PIP. It also does not mean that you have to get a referral from a medical doctor to see someone for your care.  It means that if you have been injured, you have a GUARANTEED minimum of $3000.00 for every single occupant of your vehicle that has been injured to help them recover and heal.

So why do insurance companies not want you to know about this?  The answer is quite simple really.  An insurance company is a business. Just like every other business that is out there, their objective is to make money.  You’ve already paid for the premium, so unless they upsell to you, they have made what they can make.  It’s a matter of minimizing expenses.  Your PIP is an expense out of their bank account if utilized.  Simple budgeting identifies that if you want to save as much money as possible, then don’t spend it.

Why  Do You Need to Use PIP?

Even in the era of Obamacare, many people are without insurance.  Let’s take a particular scenario and analyze it.  Say, you are the driver of a car that hits another vehicle.  You don’t have insurance, but you are indeed injured.  You have two options at the scene of the crash.  Go to the hospital, or not.  In your mind you are probably thinking, “I don’t have insurance and this is going to be insanely expensive if I go, but I’m hurt and I don’t want to die.” So what would you do in this situation?

If you knew that you had PIP, and what it does, you would easily make that decision.  You would gladly jump into the back of the ambulance and be taken to the hospital to see how badly you are hurt.  The same goes for anyone else that was in the vehicle with you.  With PIP, the critical decision of care or not, becomes a very easy one.

Increase Your PIP Coverage Today!

Now let’s talk about the down side to PIP.  As per Utah law, you can’t opt out of PIP, which is a good thing.  However, the state minimum is only $3000.00.  This means that once that’s gone, it’s gone.  There isn’t anything else if you were the one at fault.  I can tell you that an ambulance ride and obligatory four hour stay in the hospital will probably drain your PIP. This leaves the at fault driver, still needing care, to pay for it out of pocket.  If you are the victim, then it’s a different story, but that’s not what I’m talking about right now.

In order to protect yourself and everyone in your vehicle, whether or not you are at fault, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, increase your PIP to a minimum of $10,000.  I know that seems a bit excessive and almost scary to think of how much more you are going to have to pay.  I get that you are already paying a ton of money for your insurance premiums, but I promise you, it really isn’t that much more.  An example of how much more it can be, with one insurance company, to raise from the $3K minimum to $10K, only costs an additional $54. Per. Year! That’s an insanely awesome investment.  That’s an additional $4.5 per month.  You spend that much for an artery clogging burger.  I’m not a financial planner, but that to me, sounds like a solid investment.  Especially when you need it.

Ok, I’m off my soapbox.  Bottom line; protect yourself and your family as best that you can.  If you get hurt, do something about it.  If it requires an ambulance or hospital visit, do it.  If it doesn’t require the trip, then call our office to make sure that the minor injuries that more than likely you incurred are minimal.  If not, then we can take care of that too.  We are the Whiplash Center of Utah.  It’s what we do best!

 

Dr. Spence