I'm an agent and one of my customers asked me what kind of funeral expenses are included in the Personal Injury Protection coverage of her car insurance policy.
She wanted to know if the policy covered
cremation or traditional funeral services. Also, if death occurred
more than a year after the auto accident, would the funeral expenses
Glad we can help out. Here is the statute regarding funeral expenses under PIP:
ORS 742.524 (d) All reasonable and necessary funeral expenses incurred within one year after the date of the person's injury, but not more than $5,000.
There is no definition of funeral expenses in the statute, so the generally accepted meaning would be used if a consumer was claiming something out of the ordinary. Merriam-Webster dictionary's definition of funeral is "the observances held for a dead person usually before burial or cremation" so we believe cremation or traditional funeral services would be covered. Generally "reasonable and necessary" would be determined by the marketplace.
Expenses must be incurred within one year of the injury. If an injured party lived more than a year after the date of accident and then passed, the benefit for funeral expenses would not be available.
Companies may choose to provide benefits that exceed the minimum requirements, so it's always a good idea to review the policy language.