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Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance is a type of auto insurance required for drivers in Kansas. PIP insurance covers the expenses you incur as a result of injuries from an automobile accident, regardless of the cause of the accident or who was at fault. That's why PIP is also called "no-fault" insurance, and Kansas is a no-fault state. PIP pays the costs of the medical bills for your injuries and other expenses you incur as a result of your injuries.
What is Covered in PIP Insurance in Kansas?
There are two parts to personal injury protection in Kansas: coverage for the cost of receiving medical care, and reimbursement for lost income and other expenses you incur as a result of your injury. Drivers are required to have a minimum amount of coverage for each.
Medical Benefits Covered in Kansas
PIP medical benefits cover the costs of receiving medical care after an injury you sustain in a car accident, such as brain injuries, broken bones or whiplash. PIP allows you to receive and pay for medical care immediately after an accident, without having to wait for your car insurance provider to determine who was at fault or reach a settlement with the other driver. All PIP policies in Kansas are required to provide at least $4,500 of coverage, but you may be able to purchase more, depending on your insurer. Medical benefits coverage includes the following care categories, among others:
- Dental care
- Prosthetic devices
- Psychological care
Additionally, PIP must provide a separate amount of at least $4,500 for rehabilitation, should you need it. Rehabilitation coverage includes psychiatric services, occupational therapy and vocational training for an injured person to regain employment following an accident.
If you exceed the limits of your PIP medical coverage, your health insurance provider will cover the rest of the costs, but most Kansas health insurance plans require you to exhaust your PIP coverage first.
Lost Income Benefits
If you're injured in a car accident and unable to work, PIP insurance is required to cover lost income benefits. You will generally receive 85% of your monthly income, with a limit of $900 per month (equivalent to $10,800 annually) for up to one year following your accident. However, you can increase the amount or duration of your disability coverage if you wish, at the cost of higher monthly premiums.
Furthermore, you can receive benefits to pay someone to perform household chores you typically do, such as grocery shopping, cleaning and lawn care. You can receive up to $25 per day for a year to pay for someone else to perform these duties on your behalf.
If someone on your insurance plan is killed as a result of a car accident, PIP insurance is required to cover at least $2,000 of the associated costs, including burial, cremation or funeral services.
Also, a surviving spouse or dependant child under 18 is eligible for survivor's benefits. This is the same amount as the policy's lost income benefit limits (up to $900 per month) for one year following the death of the insured person.
How Much Does PIP Insurance Cost in Kansas?
The cost of PIP varies by the amount of coverage you select. The legal minimum for medical coverage in Kansas is $4,500, which we found to carry a monthly cost of around $2 to $3. However, you may choose to increase your medical coverage for a few extra dollars per month. This may be worth considering if you have a low level of health insurance coverage, as medical bills can add up quickly and you might burn through your medical allotment faster than you expect.
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All policies available in Kansas offer at least the minimum amount of coverage for lost income. Some insurers may allow you to increase the amount or duration of your lost income coverage, although you may have to call your insurer directly to get a quote tailored to your needs.
What Are the Differences Between MedPay and PIP?
In addition to PIP insurance, many car insurance companies in Kansas offer medical payments (MedPay) coverage. Like PIP, MedPay helps you cover the cost of receiving medical care after a car accident. Unlike PIP, MedPay does not cover lost income or other expenses as a result of an injury, and it's not a requirement for Kansas drivers. However, it can be an inexpensive way to supplement your PIP medical coverage if you'd like extra peace of mind, especially if you opt for PIP coverage near the minimum.
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When and How Do I File a PIP Claim?
You should file a PIP claim any time you are injured in an accident involving an automobile, even if you were not driving or in a car at the time. It may be a good idea to contact your insurance company even if you don't think you are injured, as you may experience symptoms later on. You must make your claim within two years of the accident.
Which Insurer Do I File a Claim With?
The default is to file a PIP claim with your own insurance company, if you're covered. Your policy also covers family members living with you, such as a spouse or child. If you don't have PIP insurance, you're covered under the policy of the car you were riding in. If that doesn't apply, you should make a claim to the other driver's policy.
The first step to making a PIP claim is generally notifying your insurer, either by visiting its website or calling your insurance agent directly. You'll be asked to fill out a PIP application form, either online or on paper, to describe your accident and the medical care you've received. Keep careful notes of every detail relating to your accident, and make copies of everything you send to your insurance company.
One thing to keep in mind: PIP is subject to "subrogation" in Kansas. This means that if you successfully make a claim against the other party's liability insurance, some of that money may go to the insurer to reimburse it for your PIP expenses.