Commercial Vehicle: Personal Injury Protection and Medical Payments

We’ll begin with defining “commercial vehicle,” giving a general overview of personal injury protection (PIP) and medical payments (med pay), and then examining a few differences between the two as they relate to commercial vehicle insurance.

Commercial personal injury protection and medical payments.
Commercial personal injury protection and medical payments.

In general, a “commercial vehicle” is considered to be any vehicle used for business purposes. It can encompass a wide range, from your personal automobile in which you deliver your produce to the local farmer’s market, to the trucks used for your construction company and beyond.

The definition may vary from state to state; it is imperative you check with your commercial vehicle insurance agent who knows your specific state regulations. For instance, Colorado defines a commercial vehicle as a business vehicle which has a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of over 10,000 pounds or a gross combined vehicle weight (GCVW) of over 10,000 pounds. As an example of the latter, your business truck may have a GVWR of 8,000 pounds with which you haul a 3,000-pound trailer. Your GCVW would then be 11,000 pounds which then meets Colorado’s criteria for a “commercial vehicle”.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is coverage which will pay for medical expenses and lost wages for you (the insured) and your passengers injured in an accident. It may also pay for funeral expenses. PIP pays whether or not you are at fault. In general, PIP does not have to be repaid to your insurer, even if you recover from a 3rd party. It is required in 16 states and the U.S. Territory of Puerto Rico.

Medical Payments

Medical Payments (Med Pay) is an optional coverage which will pay for medical expenses for you (the insured) and your passengers injured in an accident. Med Pay has no coverage for lost wages. It must be paid back to your insurer if you recover from a third party.

Differences Between Personal Injury Protection and Medical Payments

What are a few differences between PIP and Med Pay for commercial vehicle insurance?

Personal injury protection is more of a comprehensive coverage assisting with lost wages as well as paying medical bills.

Medical payments coverage will only cover medical expenses.

Some commercial vehicle insurance policies do not have PIP coverage.
Depending on your state’s regulations (for example, in Florida), subrogation of PIP payments is allowed if the insured’s vehicle is a “commercial motor vehicle”. Check with your insurance agent for your specific commercial insurance needs.

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