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  • Andrew Littlejohn Johnson

What are PIP and Med-Pay?

When you are injured in a car wreck in South Carolina, knowing the types of coverages in existence (and knowing what each policy covers) is crucial to your full recovery. One area of automobile insurance is "no fault" coverage. This includes personal injury protection (PIP) and medical payment (Med-Pay) coverage.

What Do PIP and Med-Pay Cover

PIP and Med-Pay are no-fault coverages, meaning that you may recover from these policies regardless of whether you are at fault in the wreck (barring some alternative policy definition or exclusion). These are coverages found on your personal policy or, potentially, the policy of the vehicle you are in at the time of the wreck. The best way to think of PIP and Med-Pay is how I explain it to clients:

"I was in a wreck with a drunk driver in Columbia. The at-fault driver has $25,000 in liability coverage. I have $5,000 in PIP coverage. My damages are $20,000. This means I can get the entirety of my own PIP coverage and still recover $20,000 from the at-fault driver's car insurance company." Because South Carolina has what is called the "collateral source" rule, a liability carrier normally cannot discount their payment based upon your recovery of PIP or Med-Pay.

Additionally, some properties have Med-Pay policies. If you are injured at someone's house in Greenville, or you are injured at an Orangeburg company's facility, there may be commercial or personal insurance coverages that include Med-Pay pay coverage. As with all of our cases, it is important to discover any and all avenues to recovery to ensure we obtain full justice for our clients.

PIP vs. Med-Pay

Many clients ask, "What is the difference between PIP and Med-Pay?" As with all insurance coverages, each policy may define coverages differently, so it is important to read your own car insurance contract. Typically, however, the difference is that PIP covers lost wages and medical costs related to a car accident; whereas, Med-Pay usually covers only medical costs.

How to Know if I Have PIP or Med-Pay

If you are unsure whether you have PIP or Med-Pay coverage, read through your policy. A separate section should exist showing this coverage (if you have it) and defining its terms. If you do not have PIP or Med-Pay, you can ask your insurance agent how to get this coverage. Normally, these are the cheapest coverages to add to your policy. And if you are ever in a wreck and have trouble paying out of pocket for medical treatment or co-pays, PIP and Med-Pay are a huge help.

If you have any questions about these coverages, any other auto insurance coverages, or about your own wreck or injury, call or email Andrew for a free and confidential evaluation.


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