know a well-kept secret of the insurance industry–one unknown to most personal injuryvictims of car accidents, truck accidents, SUV rollovers and other motor vehicle crashes: namely, Texas state law (and likely that of some other states) automatically includes “personal injury protection” (PIP) insurance coverage and “uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage” (UM/UIM) in the typical family auto liability insurance policy. However, in Texas that is not the case if the policyholder rejects that coverage in writing at the time the liability coverage is purchased or renewed. This personal injury help note discusses some basic legal rights involving auto insurance policies in Texas.
Usually, PIP coverage will provide fairly quick reimbursement for medical and other health care expenditures, as well as for certain lost income and other common financial setbacks or “inconveniences” to the Texas car accident injury victim. Additionally, the PIP claims process is a rather simple one. Each Texas policy should have a $2,500 minimum of coverage.
UM/UIM, on the other hand, exists to provide the policyholder (and certain others) with protection from “the other guy” who either has no liability insurance coverage, or has less coverage than the total of all of the personal injury victim’s legal losses — called “damages” — such as pain and suffering, mental anguish and so on. In Texas, each policy should have a $20,000 minimum of such UM/UIM coverage.
Importantly, because PIP and UM/UIM coverages usually are quite cheap, I strongly believe that there rarely is any excuse for not buying as much coverage as possible from your insurance agency. Thus, I first would decide how much you are willing to pay to protect yourself and your family; next, ask the price of the highest limits you can afford for UM/UIM coverage (and for liability coverage, which in Texas cannot have a coverage limit less than that of the UM/UIM coverage); then, choose wisely, for you or a loved one just might need those extra insurance benefits for the rapidly mounting medical expenses, lost earnings or other losses. Remember, it’s too late to buy that extra protection after the wreck.