In New Jersey, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a required auto insurance coverage, which is meant to pay for your own medical expenses and lost wages after a car accident.
But it’s normal to be confused, causing many NJ drivers to wonder: Which policy should pay for my accident injury – my PIP or my health insurance?
The short answer is: it can be either or both.
New Jersey gives you the option to choose between PIP and health insurance as your primary source of injury medical care. When you select one as the primary source, the other could become the secondary source.
In the event that your primary source of coverage is exhausted, the secondary provider should kick in to contribute to your payments.
Important Considerations: Health Insurance Vs. PIP
Consider these points when choosing between health insurance and PIP as your primary source of accident injury coverage:
Specific health insurance exclusions
The first thing you should check is whether or not your specific health care policy covers auto accident injuries. Many health insurance policies do cover accidents, but some don’t. Check the terms and exclusions of your health insurance.
Using your health insurance as a primary provider can generally help you save on premiums, but it likely also comes with deductibles (amounts you have to pay out-of-pocket before the insurance takes effect). Compare the deductibles, copays, and premiums between your health insurance and PIP to see which option is more cost-effective.
Health insurance plans commonly have a “subrogation clause”. Under this clause, if you are legally owed money relating to your accident expenses – for example, if PIP can pay for your injuries, or if you have a settlement from the other driver’s insurance company – your health insurer may be legally entitled to some of that money so they can be ‘repaid’ for the expenses they covered.
Subrogation can complicate your insurance situation, so if you have this clause in any of your policies, you’ll want a lawyer’s advice on how best to proceed.
Check the lifetime limits on each of your policies. If you get in an accident when your primary-source health insurance is no longer in effect, your PIP will have to step in for your payments, but you will be required to pay an additional deductible of $750.
How To Select Health Insurance As Primary Provider In NJ
If you have carefully weighed your options and decided that your health plan should be your primary source in case of an accident, you can make this official when you apply or renew your auto insurance.
In the Coverage Selection Form, select the “Health Insurer For PIP Option,” then write the name and policy/group number of your health insurance provider.
Contact a New Jersey Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you are confused or unsure when making a decision on your accident injury coverage, it is best to talk to the trusted New Jersey accident lawyers at the Grossman Law Firm.
The Grossman Law Firm has a strong history of offering compassionate legal guidance regarding vehicle accidents and fighting insurance companies.
If you’re concerned about your rights or your loved ones, call us for a free consultation at (732) 625-9494 today.