Have you ever heard of the phrase “No-Fault Coverage”? From Wikpedia we get the following definition of No Fault Coverage:
In its broadest sense, “no-fault insurance” is a term used to describe any type of insurance contract under which insureds are indemnified for losses by their own insurance company, regardless of fault in the incident generating losses. In this sense, it is no different from first-party coverage.
Say what? Well, it means that regardless of who is at fault in any car accident, you have access to insurance, specifically Personal Injury Protection here in Utah. Yet another confusing insurance term. Let’s explain with a definition from Wikipedia again:
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is an extension of car insurance available in some U.S. states (like Utah) that covers medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages and other damages. PIP is sometimes referred to as “no-fault” coverage, because the statutes enacting it are generally known as no-fault laws, and PIP is designed to be paid without regard to “fault,” or more properly, legal liability. PIP is also called “no-fault” because, by definition, a claimant’s, or insured’s, insurance premium should not increase due to a PIP claim.
PIP is a mandatory coverage in some states. PIP coverage may vary from state to state in terms of both what is covered and what types of treatments are considered customary and reasonable. For example, in Utah, acupuncture is a permissible medical treatment, while in California it is not. Some states also allow for PIP claims even if a Workers’ Compensation claim exists, while others do not.
Let’s break here because that’s a lot of insurance mumbo-jumbo. If you’re a Utah driver you likely (well, it’s mandatory, so it’s really likely) that you carry at least $3000 in PIP coverage.
In some states, PIP is subrogable, meaning that your insurance carrier will pay for your loss, regardless of liability, and then recover (or subrogate) what it paid from the liable party’s insurance carrier. This generally leaves the claimant/insured in a much better financial position, because his or her medical bills are paid, and the insurance carriers get to fight it out on their own, and after the fact.
PIP can cover, within the specified dollar and time limits, the medical and funeral expenses of the insured, others in its vehicle at the time of the loss, and pedestrians struck by its vehicle. The basic coverage is for the insured’s own injuries, on a first-party basis, without regard to liability. Again, it is only available in certain states.
Many states that do not have PIP have Auto Medical Payments coverage, or AMP, and some states even have both. AMP is also a first party coverage, without regard to liability, but is only subrogable in a few states, and generally optional.
OK that’s enough insurance talk. The bottom line is this: if you’re involved in an auto accident in Utah, we recommend checking with your auto insurance agent or company to find out more about what medical benefits you have. You have access to medical care, including chiropractic and in some cases massage therapy care.