“PIP”, an acronym for Personal Injury Protection, refers to medical and wage loss insurance benefits under your auto policy or the auto policy of the driver, if you were a passenger. PIP insurance is “no fault”. In other words, PIP benefits apply even if you were at fault. PIP also provides at least $2,500 for reasonable and necessary funeral expenses related to a motor vehicle accident.

Regarding the medical benefit, “PIP” pays “reasonable and necessary” medical, chiropractic, therapy, prescription and dental expenses related to the motor vehicle accident. As of the date of this article, Oregon law requires Oregon auto policies to provide at least $15,000 in PIP medical expenses, which expire one year after the accident. To avoid billing problems, be sure to use your PIP claim number (not your health insurance) for auto injury medical expenses incurred within a year of the accident as long as PIP benefits have not been exhausted.

As mentioned above, PIP coverage also contains a wage loss benefit. If your doctor releases you from work for at least 14 days, your PIP insurer should pay you a wage loss benefit equal to at least 70% of your wages up to a maximum of $1,250 per month for up to 52 weeks. Beginning January 1, 2010 this wage loss benefit will increase to a maximum of $3,000 per month.

In order to be eligible for the above benefits, you must complete and return to the PIP carrier a PIP application form. Do not delay completing this form because your bills will not be processed until you do.