Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits are the cornerstone of the Michigan No-Fault system. If you or your passengers are injured in an auto accident, this coverage pays for medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs regardless of who was at fault. While unlimited PIP benefits used to be part of every Michigan No-Fault policy, recent changes to the law provided new options with reduced PIP coverage.
Although saving a few dollars on your premium sounds tempting, recovering from a crash with inadequate medical insurance can be disastrous, physically and financially. Here is an overview of why drivers need unlimited PIP benefits in the event of a Michigan car accident.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits are a mandatory part of every Michigan No-Fault policy. If you are injured in an auto accident, these are the benefits that cover medical care and related expenses such as rehabilitative therapy and attendant care, in addition to lost wages and replacement household services. These direct costs are also known as first-party benefits.
Michigan No-Fault insurance policies also include Personal Property Protection (PPI) benefits. This coverage typically pays up to $1,000,000 for damage to other people’s property or legally parked vehicles.
Here is a summary of the coverage provided under the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) portion of a No-Fault policy:
In 2019, Michigan legislators passed a series of significant reforms to the No-Fault system. The most noteworthy change concerned Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical coverage. Previously, every No-Fault policy included unlimited PIP coverage, which made Michigan auto insurance rates among the highest in the country. Under the new law, which took effect July 1, 2020, policy holders could choose one of six PIP medical coverage options ranging from unlimited PIP benefits to no coverage (for those enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B).
While the new PIP benefit options reduced premium costs, they imposed strict limits on coverage for medical care and related expenses. As a result, choosing a lower level of PIP coverage could result in staggering medical bills for someone who is seriously injured in a Michigan car accident.
Recommended reading: What Every Michigan Driver Should Know About the New No-Fault Insurance Law
As of July 1, 2020, Michigan No-Fault includes six levels of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical coverage. Policy holders, including those on Medicare, can select one of the following options for PIP medical benefits:
The above options pertain to medical benefits only; coverage for lost wages and replacement household services were not affected by the 2019 reforms.
*Medicare does not pay for many services covered by unlimited Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical benefits, such as in-home attendant care and long-term custodial care, so Medicare recipients would be wise to consider adding PIP coverage to their policy.
Recommended reading: Can I Opt Out of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) if I Have Medicare?
Unlimited PIP medical coverage provides the highest level of protection available to Michigan drivers. In the event of a serious accident, these comprehensive lifetime benefits cover all necessary medical expenses, including hospital stays, surgeries, rehabilitation, medication, attendant care and more.
Insufficient medical insurance can result in devastating medical bills or denial of necessary treatment or procedures. In fact, a study by the U.S. Census Bureau found 19 percent of households have medical debt. Choosing unlimited PIP medical coverage provides peace of mind and comprehensive protection that is well worth the additional cost.
Recommended reading: Does The New Michigan No-Fault Law Cover Out-Of-State Drivers And Accidents?
Yes. Everyone wants lower premiums, but decreasing PIP benefits can cost far more in the long run if you or a loved one is seriously injured in a crash. Instead, consider reducing premium rates by raising your deductible or eliminating collision and comprehensive coverage, especially on older vehicles. Some insurance companies give discounts for low mileage or good driving records.
Rates can vary considerably, so it pays to shop around and compare prices from different insurance providers. If you find a lower rate, make sure it includes the same coverage as your current policy. And be wary of insurance agents who recommend saving money by reducing PIP benefits or liability coverage.
If you or a loved one is injured in a Michigan traffic accident, we can help. Our experienced lawyers have the skills, knowledge and resources to win the compensation you and your family deserve.
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