Suppose another driver crosses the center line and smashes into your car, and you or your child or spouse riding in your vehicle is seriously hurt. An ambulance transport coupled with a typical hospital stay costs over $20,000. If emergency surgery is needed, you can easily multiply that amount many times over. Add in follow-up doctor visits, rehab and physical therapy, and maybe more surgeries and long-term hospital or convalescent stays, and the medical bills can quickly exceed many hundreds of thousands of dollars—even millions of dollars, if you or a member of your household has suffered a catastrophic injury.
Until now, drivers in Michigan never had to worry about these staggering bills. Under Michigan’s Automobile No-Fault Act’s medical Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, you had unlimited medical coverage for your entire lifetime for any injuries caused by a car crash. But a recent, misguided change to the law now gives drivers after July 1, 2020 the option of deciding how much medical coverage they want. If you have not received a form from your auto insurance company that wants you to choose your medical coverage amount, you will soon. And the question you will be faced with is: “How much medical coverage should I choose?”
Our advice is to keep the unlimited no-fault PIP medical benefits coverage. Yes, it may cost a bit more, but the peace of mind it will give you—knowing that you and your loved ones riding in your car will always have the full medical care they need if the unthinkable happens—is easily worth every penny. Saving a few nickels in exchange for losing that piece of mind, and perhaps subjecting you to bankruptcy due to overwhelming medical bills, just isn’t worth the risk. And even if you have good health care coverage, those policies often do not cover or place limits on costs that your auto PIP benefits cover, such as residential care, attendant care, prescriptions, hospitalizations, doctor visits, lab costs, home modifications, prosthetics, and vehicle modifications/purchases.
Lastly, if you select a No-Fault PIP deductible, keep it to $500 or less.