Personal Injury Protection For Commercial Drivers
Having a good commercial auto insurance policy can help ease the financial burden related to unforeseen accidents. When it comes to injuries suffered by you or your employees, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance can be a very important part of your policy.
What Is PIP?
Commercial personal injury protection, also known as PIP insurance or “no-fault insurance,” is a type of commercial auto insurance that helps pay for injury-related costs if you (or one of your employees) are involved in an accident in a commercial vehicle.
Unlike some other types of coverages, PIP insurance does not factor in fault. In other words, PIP insurance coverage will cover your injury-related costs, regardless of whether you caused the accident.
Types of injury-related costs covered by PIP insurance include:
- Medical bills.
- Loss of income due to disability.
- Household services.
The availability of PIP insurance is limited to no-fault states. In fact, these state have personal injury protection requirements written in their car insurance laws.
No-fault states include:
- New Jersey.
- New York.
- North Dakota.
NOTE: Some no-fault states’ laws hold certain types of commercial vehicles, such as large trucks and taxis, exempt from PIP insurance requirements. Consult your commercial auto insurance representative for more information.
Purchasing Commercial PIP Insurance
Because PIP insurance is required in no-fault states, you will find this coverage readily available from commercial auto insurance companies who do business within those states.
When shopping around for the right policy, remember to factor PIP coverage into your quote(s).
States that require personal injury protection have their own set minimum limits for PIP. These limits will vary from state to state. When purchasing your commercial auto insurance plan, you will need to make sure your policy meets your state’s requirements.
You may want to consider purchasing higher PIP limits to help ensure that your own and your employee’s injury-related costs are adequately covered.
PIP, Health Insurance, and Workers’ Compensation
Personal injury protection is not the only source of financial protection from injury-related costs available to you and your employees. You can also cover injury-related expenses using:
- Health insurance.
- Workers’ compensation.
Your PIP coverage can be used to supplement your health insurance and workers’ compensation in many cases.
Many health insurance plans will cover injuries that result from car accidents. Additionally, most no-fault states allow you to declare either your PIP or health insurance as your primary insurance in case you are injured in an accident.
If you select your health insurance as your primary insurance, your PIP can help cover any injury-related costs that exceed the limits of your health insurance policy.
If your PIP coverage is your primary insurance, your health insurance can supplement injury-related costs your PIP cannot cover.
Before making this selection, make sure you understand the details of your health insurance policy. Some plans will not cover certain types of injuries, including those suffered from a traffic accident.
If an employee under your company’s commercial auto insurance plan is hurt in an accident while driving or riding in one of your vehicles for work purposes, workers’ compensation will typically be the primary source of financial reimbursement for that employees’ injury-related costs. However, PIP can also help pay for these costs as a supplement to workers’ compensation.
As with health insurance, you may also have the option to assign either workers’ compensation or PIP as the primary source of injury protection.
An unfortunate fact about driving any type of vehicle is you can get hurt. Help protect your company, yourself, and your employees by having PIP as part of your commercial auto insurance policy.