To be covered under most auto insurance Personal Injury Protection (PIP) provisions, a person needs to be “occupying” a vehicle.
“Covered person” as used in PIP coverage means the named insured or any family member while occupying or when struck by a motor vehicle designed for use maily on public roads or a trailer of any type. “Covered person” also includes any person occupying the covered auto with the named insured’s permission.
Most PIP claims arise out of accidents when an insured, a family member, and/or a friend of the insured are “occupying” an insured vehicle. The policy contains a very broad definition of “occupying.” For example, when an insured injured himself in the act of getting out of the car, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals held that the insured was “occupying” the vehicle. This was decided in 1976, and the case was styled, Berry v. Dairyland County Mutual Insurance Co.