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No Fault Coverage and Your ATV
avalon_agency wrote in insurance_chat
No-Fault coverage, usually listed as Personal Injury Protection, or PIP, on your automobile insurance policy, became required as a result of the passing of The New York Comprehensive Automobile Insurance Reparations Act of February 1, 1974. Legislators and insurance companies wanted to ensure that injured motorists received prompt and sufficient medical treatment and replacement of their income without being burdened by litigation. Before the law was put into affect, only 14 percent of liability premiums in the state actual reimbursed accident victims for their economic losses and it took an average of 16 months to collect. (via PIA Article "An explanation of New York's no-fault law and ATV PIP insurance benefits.")

Is PIP coverage required for ATVs? Yes, when they are operated  off the owner's property, but it only applies to injured pedestrians. Those riding on the ATV are not eligible for PIP benefits. However, unlike the no-fault benefits on your auto policy, there is no restriction on an injured rider's right to collect non-economic damages (pain and suffering).

Under the no-fault coverage on your auto policy, benefits are paid to the insured regardless of fault. In this way it is felt that wasted litigation expenses and redundancy in benefits is avoided. You as the insured do give up your right to sue for non-economic damages (pain and suffering) however if the injury is severe enough to reach a "verbal threshold", a list of 9 injury types, you may then pursue those types of damages. This is that list:

  1. A personal injury that results in death;
  2. Dismemberment;
  3. A significant disfigurement;
  4. A fracture;
  5. The loss of a fetus;
  6. Permanent loss of use of a body organ, member, function or system;
  7. Permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member;
  8. Significant limitation of use of a body function or system; or
  9. A medically determined injury or impairment of a non- permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment.
PIP benefits consist of four types of compensation:

1. All eligible medical expenses incurred without time limitation.
2. Income loss payments up to $2000 per month for nor more than 3 years.
3. Other expenses incurred (e.g. housekeeping or transportation) up to $25 per day for not more than a year.
4. Death benefit of $2000 payable to cover the person's estate.

It is possible that some of these losses may fall under other sources of payment, such as Worker's Compensation, state disability or social security benefits, which may contribute with your ATV insurance to help compensate the injured person for their basic economic losses.

In New York, the minimum limit for PIP that must be carried is $50,000. Other than that, there are no other PIP requirements for autos or ATVs. Most companies do not offer other options for ATVs.

Just remember, if you plan to ride the ATV off of your own property, you must insure it and this coverage will need to include Bodily Injury and No-Fault (PIP) coverage.

Be safe. Wear a helmet. Be alert. And enjoy!

CM
Avalon Agency

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