Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is coverage available to you as an extra level of financial protection should you get into a car accident. Some states require the coverage, such as Oregon. If you are a resident of Washington, it’s up to you.
In Washington, the coverage window for PIP is three years from the date of loss. Oregon only has a coverage period of one year. While both periods may seem like an eternity, time is of the essence when seeking medical treatment, for two reasons. First, it just makes sense. If injured, common wisdom would dictate you obtain timely and proper medical care. But you also want to make sure your insurance company doesn’t deny the claim as unrelated, based upon what they would consider a significant delay in seeking treatment.
Do You Need PIP Insurance Coverage?
PIP coverage is on every single consumer policy in Oregon. It is mandated by state law. You can’t purchase auto insurance without getting at least the minimal coverage required. In Washington, you don’t have to have PIP coverage. However, if you don’t want it on your policy you will be required to sign a waiver. Otherwise, the insurance company will have to include it. In fact, even if you didn’t pay for the coverage, it is automatically placed on your policy in Washington unless the insurance company can produce a copy of the waiver.
PIP coverage will give you some level of peace of mind that a reasonable amount of your healthcare expenses related to a car accident will be covered by your policy.
In Washington, your standard personal injury protection is $10,000 for medical expenses, $10,000 in lost wages, $40 a day for essential services (such as lawn care of housecleaning) and in more severe cases, $2,500 for funeral expenses. It will also cover expenses for your passengers (including non-family members). Oregon policies are similar, but the minimal medical coverage is $15,000.
You can elect to have enhanced coverage in either state. Which, given the high cost of medical care these days, is probably a good idea.