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You buy car insurance. You make sure you purchase full coverage. Your agent sells you high liability limits and makes sure you have uninsured motorist coverage. With all the uninsured drivers running around out there, the latter is a smart purchase. But you like to save money. Your agent asks if you have medical insurance at work. Unlike a lot of Americans, you are one of the few who do. He says you don’t need to be double covered, so you really don’t need to purchase the “PIP” or Personal Injury Protection coverage on your policy. If you live in Oregon, this won’t happen. PIP coverage is required in every Oregon consumer auto policy. If you buy auto insurance in Oregon, you automatically have this coverage. Not so in Washington. Your agent is required to offer it to you, but you can opt out by signing a written rejection of coverage. PIP is nice coverage to have. If injured, it pays your medical bills while you’re waiting to settle. It’s referred to as “No Fault” coverage, meaning if you or anyone in your car is hurt it will pay the medical bills without regard to who caused the collision. Doctors love PIP coverage. It usually pays 100% of whatever they bill. Not many private insurance carriers do that anymore. There is also no deductible, no co-pay, no 80/20 and no requirement you get pre-approval of care. Plus you can go to any licensed doctor you choose. If you have to rely on private medical insurance to pay your bills, you may find yourself making lots of co-pays and having to pay a big deductible. You also may find yourself paying more of your medical bills if you didn’t go to one of the doctors on your insurance company’s approved list. If your injury is serious and you incur substantial bills, the portion you have to pay may be many thousands of dollars. Purchasing PIP coverage is the wise thing to do. With all the differences between PIP and private medical insurance, despite what your agent tells you, it really isn’t purchasing double coverage. And the savings are nominal at best.

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