Texas personal injury protection (PIP) is the part of an auto policy that provides coverage for medical expenses to drivers and passengers in your vehicle who were injured from an automobile accident, no matter who is at fault. Due to the rising costs of medical care in the United States, increasing road traffic and increasing traffic fatalities due to distracted driving, it is worth considering additional PIP insurance above the minimum level of coverage offered on insurance policies in Texas.
Texas PIP statute
Texas state laws require that every policyholder be offered PIP coverage, although PIP can be declined from a policy by request. Once PIP insurance is rejected, the coverage will remain off the policy at each renewal, unless it is specifically requested to be added back on. Rejecting PIP coverage will not affect your liability insurance premiums as it does in some no-fault states. In addition, Texas does not have a tort threshold that limits your ability to sue another party in an accident.
PIP insurance provides coverage for medical bills for you and your passengers. It can also cover a percentage of lost wages if you are unable to work, and may help pay for caregiver services and some non-medical costs. Medical costs might include ambulance services, doctors, hospitals, surgeries, X-rays, dental or eye treatments, medical procedures, prosthetic devices, professional nursing care, rehabilitation, therapy and funeral costs. PIP insurance in Texas can also provide coverage for reasonable household duties that are unable to be completed if injured from a covered claim.
How does PIP insurance in Texas work?
PIP coverage can apply regardless of who is at fault in an auto accident. Personal injuries are covered under PIP for the driver and passengers in a vehicle if the driver caused an accident, was hit by another party, hit an animal or hit a stationary object. Typically, both the driver and any passengers in the car are covered for injuries, but it is advisable to check your policy for exclusion clauses that may narrow the definition of who is covered by PIP.
PIP covers you if you are the driver of a vehicle or a passenger in someone else’s car. If you are a passenger in someone else’s car and are injured in an accident, both the driver’s PIP and your own PIP from your personal auto insurance policy may cover you, depending on the state.
The level of PIP coverage on a policy will vary depending on how much coverage the policyholder chose to buy. Insurance companies usually offer multiple options for PIP coverage. In Texas, increments of $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 are commonly offered. Some coverage options may vary by carrier. And if you move to another state, your coverage options will likely change. You can compare policies for the cheapest car insurance in Texas for 2021, to find the best policy for you.
How to file a PIP insurance claim in Texas
To file a Texas PIP insurance claim, you must notify your insurance company that an accident has occurred. It is advisable to report all injuries and expenses immediately after an accident, if possible. When making a claim for medical bills or lost wages on PIP in Texas, insurance companies may require medical documentation verifying the inability to work. This might include medical bills, receipts and documentation of payments.
Be sure to note the legal time frames for submitting your claim for injuries and the right to sue if an insurance company does not pay your claim. PIP claims are usually paid within 30 days, but prompt filing can speed the process up.
Frequently asked questions
Is PIP insurance required in Texas?
Texas law does not require PIP insurance to drive in Texas. However, PIP insurance must be offered to every policyholder and will only be removed from a policy if the policyholder requests the change directly to the company.
Where can I buy PIP insurance in Texas?
PIP coverage in Texas is offered by most insurance companies, although the increments sold may differ. You may want to consider obtaining multiple quotes to ensure that you are able to choose a company that offers the levels of PIP coverage you are seeking.
How expensive is car insurance in Texas?
The average annual cost of car insurance in Texas is $1,800 for full coverage and $496 for minimum coverage, which is very similar to the national average of $1,738 for full coverage and lower than the national average of $563 for minimum coverage.