Personal Injury Protection (PIP) pays your medical bills and loss of wages if you are the victim of an auto accident. This insurance coverage is not legally required, but like collision and comprehensive coverage, you may purchase anywhere between $25,000 of coverage to $1,000,000 of coverage. Amazingly, a high amount of Personal Injury Protection does not cost very much. The difference between $25,000 worth of coverage and $1,000,000 is as little as $7.00 a month.
In spite of how cheap this invaluable protection is many people do not hold Personal Injury Protection, and those who do refuse to use it because they are afraid of a increase in their insurance premiums.
Why Won’t My Rates Increase if I Use My PIP Insurance?
Washington State Insurance Law does not allow insurance companies to raise your rates unless you were at fault in the auto accident.
RCW 46.52.130 states: “No policy of insurance may be canceled, non-renewed, denied, or have the rate increased on the basis of such information unless the policy holder was determined to be at fault”
This law makes it illegal for your insurance company to raise your rates if you are the victim of an auto accident and actually has legal consequences if the insurance company disobeys. In case of accidently rate increase the insurance company can be charged with a gross misdemeanor, and if they are found to have raised your rates intentionally it is considered a class c felony which is a punishable offense.
This insurance law does not only apply to PIP insurance, but also to under-insured and uninsured motorist protection. So if you ever find yourself the victim of an auto accident be sure to use your Personal Injury Protection and UM/UIM benefits to help you recover.
Do I Have to Pay the Money Back Once I Reach a Settlement?
You do have to pay some of the PIP money back after your case settles. This is called subrogation. The benefit of PIP insurance is, in addition to it covering your bills and keeping you out of financial ruin while your case is open, you do not have to pay the entire amount back when your case settles, which saves you money. With an experienced lawyer you can minimize this amount as there are ways to decrease or even eliminate the subrogation interest.
Don’t wait — get invaluable information about protecting your family from an accident
Seattle personal injury attorney Jason Epstein has many years of experience fighting for auto accident victims. To help serve them better, he has written a book collecting the knowledge he has gained over ten years working personal injury cases. The Truth About Buying Washington Auto Insurance is available to you to help you protect your family and assets in the event of an auto accident. Don’t wait — order this free book on our website today.