Auto insurance can be quite confusing. With so many different coverage types, it’s hard to tell what you are covered for and what you aren’t. The only type of insurance that is required by law in all 50 states in liability insurance. This covers damage to other vehicles and property if you are in an accident. In fact, the most common types of auto insurance (liability, collision, and comprehensive) only cover vehicle or property damage. But what happens if you are in an accident and need medical attention? Does your insurance pay for that or will you be left needing to pay for yourself? This is why you need medical payments coverage.
Medical payments coverage will cover you and your passengers medical costs in the event of a car accident. It will also cover your family members driving your insured vehicle. Medical payments coverage will pay for these payments regardless of who is at fault in an accident. It will pay up to the per accident limit allowed on your car insurance policy. For example, if you choose a $5,000 medical limit, each passenger will have up to $5,000 coverage for all medical claims resulting from an accident in your automobile. Medical payments coverage plans usually have several different coverage levels including $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, and $50,000. The higher amount of coverage you buy, the more you will have to pay on top of your premium.
Medical payments coverage is not to be confused with bodily injury liability coverage. Body injury liability coverage will cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages that you were ruled legally responsible for in an accident. Body injury liability will cover medical payments for the other party involved in the accident. It will not cover your medical expenses or the expenses of anyone else in your vehicle. This is why you need medical payments coverage. Both types of insurance, however, are very important parts of an auto insurance policy.
What Does Medical Payments Coverage Cover?
Medical payments coverage usually helps pay for the following things resulting from auto accidents:
- Visiting the doctors
- Visiting or staying over at the hospital
- Surgical procedures
- Emergency medical technician (EMT) fees
- Ambulance fees
- Professional nursing services and care
- Funeral costs (if needed, god forbid)
A lot of people assume they don’t need medical payments coverage if they have health insurance. After all, your employer sponsored health care plan or your individual health care plan will cover you for all medical issues (including injuries sustained in car accidents). For the most part,they are right. Your health insurance plan will pay for your medical expenses if you are ever in a car accident. But here is something else to consider – often times these health care plans carry very high deductibles (especially if your employer is cheap and cuts costs at every corner). A $5,000 deductible for surgeries is not a rare occurrence. Meaning, if you are in a car accident and are severely injured and require surgery, you will need to pay $5,000 out of your pocket before the insurance company will pay a dime. If you have medical payments coverage with your auto insurance policy, this can help pay for your deductible – or even pay it off completely.
Medical payments coverage is actually not as expensive as you may think. A typical medical payments coverage plan will only cost you a few extra dollars on top of your monthly premium. It’s typically one of the cheapest auto insurance coverage options. For example, I am a 25 year old male in good health and live in a high traffic area with lots of car accidents. I only pay $15 extra per month for $10,000 of coverage. The small amount of money that is costs to insure such an expensive thing makes medical payments coverage well worth it.
If you are interested in adding this type of insurance coverage to your policy, get in touch with your insurance agency ASAP. Life is unpredictable, you never know when a serious accident will leave you in need of medical attention. Like they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
If you are do not yet have auto insurance and wish to find a policy with medical payments coverage, it is best to compare rates from multiple insurance providers until you find a policy that works best for you. To get started, enter your zip code in the form above and then fill out our brief questionnaire to be connected with quotes from the top insurance companies.