In the state of Texas, every driver is required to have auto insurance coverage to help pay for costs in the event of a serious car accident. Depending on your situation, you would be required to pay for a particular level of insurance. The minimum requirement in Texas is to have basic liability coverage. If you have a car that’s not paid off in full you might be required to have additional collision and comprehensive coverage.

Personal Injury Protection coverage is required in Texas for every auto insurance policy holder unless the person has rejected the coverage and has submitted a rejection in writing. This is done mainly to help protect people in the event of a serious accident. 

You also have the option to opt for Medical Payments instead of PIP. Generally, both coverages are similar in that they both provide compensation after an injury accident. There are pros and cons to each of the different types of coverage that we will dive into below. Make sure to consult an experienced Houston personal injury attorney to understand what is the optimal choice in your situation.

What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage in Texas?

Personal Injury Protection is a type of car insurance coverage that helps pay for bills in the event of an injury accident. PIP is considered a “no fault” coverage. This means that regardless of who the fault falls on, personal injury protection will compensate the damages (until the limit is met). The minimum amount of PIP coverage in Texas is $2,500. Policyholders can also opt for higher coverages of $5,000 & $10,000.

Personal injury protection coverage pays for the following:

  • Medical expenses.
  • Funeral expenses in the event of a fatal accident.
  • 80% of lost wages as a result of being unable to work.
  • Caregiver costs for the injured victim.

What is Medical Payments (Med Pay) Coverage in Texas?

Medical Payments coverage is another type of coverage that helps pay expenses after an injury accident. However, the key difference between medical payments and PIP is that medical payments focus more on paying medical expenses, rather than paying for things like lost wages, replacement services, etc. Medical payments are similar to PIP in that it is a “no fault” coverage, meaning it doesn’t matter who is at fault in the accident in order for the insured party to seek compensation for their damages. 

Essentially, medical payments coverage pays for the following:

  • Medical expenses.
  • Funeral expenses in the event of a fatal accident.

Key Differences Between PIP Coverage and Med Pay Coverage

Personal injury protection coverage and medical payments coverage are similar in some ways but have a couple of key differences:

  • PIP can provide compensation for lost wages due to the inability to work after sustaining an injury. This is capped at 80% of wages lost.
  • Unlike PIP, Med Pay is subject to subrogation. Meaning that if the injury victim is successful at collecting compensation from the negligent driver, they would have to repay the insurance company for the Med Pay they received.
  • PIP coverage allows for coverage under more than one policy. Meaning injury victims can stack different coverages in some circumstances.

Should I Choose PIP Coverage or Med Pay Coverage?

One general reason that makes people tend to choose PIP over Med Pay coverage is the fact that medical payments are usually covered through health insurance policies. So people could have Med Pay coverage through their employer’s health insurance and not even know it. The other general reason is the fact that PIP coverage isn’t subject to subrogation. Even though Med Pay coverage is extremely affordable, the fact that it’s subject to subrogation means you’ll end up with a lower compensation in the event of an injury.