Here are the basics on the different types of automobile coverage, what is covered, and the minimum coverage you should have to protect yourself.
Liability Coverage protects the insured if you are found responsible for injuries or damages from an accident. This coverage pays damages for bodily injury and property damage. Washington law requires only that you have a minimum of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident of liability limits. $25,000 may sound like a large sum; however, this is a low threshold when considering the substantial cost of medical care. If possible, you should buy at least $500,000 in single liability limits coverage. You should also have property damage liability coverage of at least $50,000.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) pays for medical expenses and wage loss for you and your passengers, regardless of the cause of the accident. You are not required to have PIP coverage in order to drive a vehicle, but we strongly recommend you do so. You should acquire as much PIP coverage as your insurance coverage will allow. Even if you already have medical insurance which would cover your injuries, PIP is a good idea because there is no deductible or out of pocket fee with each medical visit.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) covers you, your household, and people riding in your vehicle against injuries and damages caused by someone without insurance or with insufficient coverage (remember the minimum policy limits for liability coverage is only $25,000). Every driver should purchase UIM coverage. There are too many uninsured and underinsured motorist driving on the road. Much like PIP, you should purchase as much UIM coverage as your insurance company will allow. It should be at least the same limits as your liability limits. In essence, it insures every other driver on the road, a large percentage of whom have either no coverage or the minimum required.
Please download and print this form, and then store in your glove box. In the event of an automobile accident, follow the steps listed on the form.