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PIP vs. Health Insurance


I have written about this topic before, but it is something that most people who have never been involved in a collision just do not realize. Almost every automobile policy, unless you specifically decline it, has a specific provision that your insurance company will pay your medical bills and lost wages up to a certain amount of time and up to the amount of policy limits that you paid. The minimum limits in Delaware are $15,000.00 per person/$30,000.00 for everyone in the motor vehicle.

A lot of people do not understand what I have stated above when they are involved in a motor vehicle collision. They generally will use their health insurance whether it be general health insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare. The problem with using other health insurance besides car insurance, you almost always have an obligation to pay back the money that the other health insurers paid on your behalf. If you use your automobile insurance, you do not have any obligation to pay back your insurance company for paying out that money. They have a right to go after the person that caused the collision to try to get their money back, if there is enough insurance left over. You do have a right to get all the insurance available for the injuries you sustained.

Again, as I have stated previously, but keep seeing it is that people have very minimum car insurance for medical bills and/or lost wages. Sometimes, that is all you can afford. Go to your agent or insurance company and ask how much it cost to get higher levels of insurance. Generally, it is not a lot more money over the course of a year to get a higher level. A one day stay in the hospital will basically wipe out the minimum limits for the $15,000.00 a person has in insurance through the vehicle. If you are in the hospital for a day, you will have additional medical expenses. Also, you will have lost wages. If you simply can not afford more, that is fine. Motor vehicle collisions just happen all too frequently and you do not want to be in the position where you do not have a right to get fair compensation for your injuries.

What I also see, as I stated before is people that have deductibles on the PIP (Personal Injury Protection ) insurance on their automobile. Again, that is your medical and lost wage coverage. In other words you will have a $15,000.00 policy, but a $5,000.00 deductible. That means the first $5,000.00 is not going to be paid by your insurance company. If you do not have health insurance, or even if you do, it becomes a nightmare to get that paid. That means doctors may not see you, you will get collection notices from hospitals or other types of medical providers. Importantly, you will not get the treatment that is necessary. Getting rid of the deductibles are generally very inexpensive. As I have stated, it always matters if you can afford it or not. However, I have seen cases where people end up in serious financial distress even though the collision was not their fault. It has happened more than a few times. It is something you need to look at and make a decision not just about getting in a motor vehicle collision, but your financial health.

Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Hood

At the law office of Michael J. Hood, in Wilmington, we bring more than 30 years of experience to personal injury victims in Delaware and Pennsylvania. For a free initial consultation, contact us online or call our office at 302-777-1000 for an appointment.

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