Q: I was in a car accident in which I was injured. I thought that in Massachusetts insurance companies are required to offer Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage up to $8,000 for lost wages, medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses, but my insurance company is saying that they aren’t paying because I have a deductable. Is this legal?

A: You are correct that in Massachusetts automobile insurance companies must offer Personal Injury Protection (PIP) on your insurance policy, but you as the insured can opt out of that coverage, often without even realizing it. Unfortunately automobile insurance companies are beginning to entice customers with lower rates, but at the expense of valuable benefits that they write out of the policy. One way they do this is to give you a deductable on the PIP coverage, and you may not even be aware of it unless you review the policy in detail. This means that you will be personally responsible for the medical bills from your accident if you have a full $8,000.00 deductable, even if you were not at fault. Ideally, either your private health insurance must cover the payments, or you will need to pay the outstanding medical bills out of any bodily injury settlement you receive. Always be sure to review the terms of your insurance policy. If the rate seems too good to be true, it probably is!