Hidden PIP Coverage

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It is a commonly held belief, even among lawyers, that there is no PIP if a vehicle is insured under a commercial policy. This is actually not the case. Any policy issued in Oregon, even a commercial one, must provide the minimum of $15,000 in medical benefits IF the vehicle is a private passenger vehicle AND it is not used for wholesale or retail delivery, or used to transport people (such as a taxi).

Most of the time, a commercial vehicle will be used for one of these purposes, but not all the time. We have been successful in getting PIP coverage in the following circumstances:

Our client was in a collision while driving to work, in a truck that was insured under a commercial policy. Because the truck was used to transport materials to a site, and not used in retail or wholesale delivery, we were able to force PIP to provide coverage.

Another client was driving a fleet vehicle to work. The vehicle was provided to her for transportation to and from work, and was not used for delivery. Initially, the commercial policy denied coverage. Her personal auto policy denied coverage, because she was driving a vehicle that was not on her policy and is regularly used — this exemption is allowed under PIP law. It took several months, but the commercial insurer ultimately agreed to pay the PIP benefits.

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