What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) In Texas

Anytime a person buys insurance coverage for their automobile in Texas, they are given many options. These options include choices related to collision coverage, coverage for towing, rental cars, and even life insurance, to mention a few. No matter where you buy automobile coverage in Texas, whether it is Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie, or in Weatherford , you are also given the option to buy uninsured / underinsured beneits and personal injury protection benefits also known as PIP.
In discussing PIP coverage, one should know that this coverage is regulated in the Texas Insurance Code, Sections 1952.151 thru 1952.161.
Section 1952.151 says that PIP provides payment of all reasonable expenses that arise from an accident for: A) necessary medical care, B) lost income for a wage earner, and C) reinbursement for reasonable expenses for essential services ordinarily performed by the injured person. An example of this last one would be reinbursing an injured person for having to pay someone to mow his yard because his injuries prevented him from doing it himself.
Another important thing to realize about PIP coverage is found in Section 1952.152. This section says an insurance company must provide PIP coverage in any and all polices issued in the State of Texas. This coverage is automatic unless the named insured rejects the coverage in writing.
Section 1952.153 requires that the minimum for PIP coverage be $2500. There is not a maximum required by law. A maximum is left to the discretion of the insurance company.
Section 1952.155 is another important part of PIP law. This section says that PIP benefits are payable without regard to the fault of a person seeking coverage. Also, this section says PIP is payable without regards to whether or not there is other insurance to cover the loss. In other words, this section actually allows for a “double recovery”.
Section 1952.156 deals with time limits for presenting the claim for PIP benefits and the time frame for the insurance company to pay these benefits.
Section 1952.157 provides for the penalties an insurance company faces for not promptly paying claims under PIP benefits.
Another relevant section is Section 1952.159. This section allows an offset against a liability claim. This normally applies to a situation where a passenger is injured due to an insured drivers’ negligence. The passenger would normally receive PIP benefits soon after an accident, then later on settle the liability claim against the driver. When the claim against the driver is settled under the liability portion of the settlement, the insurance company can take a credit or offset against the monies paid under the PIP portion of the policy.
PIP is a valuable coverage to be able to make a recovery from. And it is important to know and understand the way PIP coverage works so as to insure an insurance company adjuster does not accidentally or deliberately handle the claim wrong. Seeking the advice of an experienced Insurance Law Attorney can insure that your claim for benefits is handled properly.