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No-Fault Blog No. 3: How much first-party No-Fault insurance benefits should I have?

Photograph: Three doctors in gowns and masks performing surgery in an operatory.

How much No-Fault (“PIP”) coverage is available to you when you’ve been injured in a car or truck?  New York State minimum No-Fault coverage by statute is $50,000.00 per person in the vehicle, per claim.  Now, if you have a smart insurance agent who cares about you, he or she can (and should) get you up to $175,000.00 in No-Fault coverage per person, per claim, for a ridiculously small increase in your auto premium bill.  I mean it’s a tiny amount.

Do you know how much a month of critical-care, in-patient treatment is at a major urban teaching hospital like University Hospital in Syracuse, New York, costs?  I do, and you could run through that $50,000.00 in a matter of weeks if you’re badly hurt and have minimum No-Fault coverage.  Don’t find out the hard way that you don’t have enough coverage after the collision: call your insurance company or insurance agent immediately and ask how much $175,000.00 in additional No-Fault coverage (called “APIP” and “OBEL”) would be.  It’s cheap.  Then smile and say “I’ll take it,” and drive happier.  You’ve added real “first-party” protection to you, your family members and friends who ride with you in your car, truck or van.

And, by the way, personal injury lawyers like me don’t get an extra dime in fees from No-Fault coverage.  Nothing.  Nada.  It’s not how we get paid.  So consider opting for additional No-Fault insurance coverage as free advice that makes no difference to my bottom line.

Stay tuned.

Lela