Metro Detroit Car Accident Attorney
If you are involved in a Michigan auto accident, you are entitled to receive personal injury protection (PIP) benefits from the responsible no-fault insurer (usually this is your own insurance company). These benefits include all reasonably necessary medical expenses and lost wages for up to three years, as well as replacement services and attendant care.
However, you should be aware that your auto insurance policy may have deductible associated with any claim submitted for PIP benefits. This means that you would be responsible for paying for your own accident related expenses up to the contracted amount before your auto insurance would pay for your injuries.
MCL 500.3109(3) provides that auto insurers providing PIP benefits, may in exchange for a reduced premium rate, offer a deductible of a specified amount. The deductible can be applicable to all or any specified type of PIP benefits. The deductible applies to the person named in the policy, his or her spouse, and any relative of living in their household.
Most people are used to dealing with deductibles related to health insurance or vehicle damage. The problem is that PIP deductibles can be very high, and oftentimes the claimant is not aware of what their policy language says.
For example, our office has heard of PIP deductibles as high as $10,000. While a deductible would result in a lower monthly premium, you should ask yourself: If a member of my household or I were involved in an auto accident requiring extensive hospitalization and time off work, could I afford to pay the first $10,000 of my accident related expenses before my auto insurance kicked in? For many people the answer to that question is no.
For this reason, it is important to know and understand the coverage your policy provides you and your loved ones, and to do so before an accident occurs. If you are unsure if you have a PIP deductible, you should contact your insurance agent or insurance carrier and ask if your policy contains a deductible, the amount of the deductible, and precisely what PIP benefits the deductible applies to and if necessary, make the appropriate changes. Oftentimes, this information is also listed on the declarations page of your insurance policy.