Serving South King County and Western Washington
First Party Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
Most automobile insurance policies contain Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. RCW 48.22.085 requires all automobile insurers to offer Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. However, an insured person can reject PIP coverage, but the rejection must be in writing. If an insured person rejects PIP coverage, the insurer is not required later to include PIP coverage in any supplemental, renewal, or replacement policy unless the insured person requests such coverage in writing.
The minimum amount of PIP coverage that an insurer must offer includes medical and hospital benefits of $10,000, a funeral expense benefit of $2,000, income continuation benefits of $10,000 (subject to a limit of $200 per week), and loss of services benefits of $5,000 (subject to a limit of $200 per week). Generally, the minimum PIP benefit limits can be increased at the request of the insured for a minimal cost. For example, the medical and hospital PIP benefit can be increased to $35,000, income continuation benefits increased to $35,000 (subject to a limit of $700 per week), and loss of services benefits increased to $14,600.
If an automobile accident occurs, PIP coverage is not dependent on establishing fault of any party. Ultimately, an insured person may be at fault for an accident and still be entitled to PIP coverage. PIP coverage is available when there are bodily injuries caused by an accident arising out of use of a vehicle. Injury must occur while the motor vehicle was being operated as a motor vehicle. Injury cannot just occur around the vehicle.