UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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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, or MedPay.
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. MedPay 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 MedPay 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 surgery 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.
If I Have Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Do I need Medical Payments Coverage?
Personal injury protection (PIP) is a type of auto insurance coverage that will cover the cost of medical care and lost wages if you are involved in a car accident. If you have personal injury protection, you don’t need medical payments coverage, as PIP protects you from the cost of medical bills while you are involved in an auto accident, as well as a number of other expenses; rehabilitation and lost wages, for example. Medical Payments Coverage also assists with the cost of medical bills after a car accident; however, it does not offer as much coverage – and the same type of coverage – as PIP. Therefore, if you have personal injury protection, you don’t need additional medical payments coverage, as it won’t cover as much as PIP; plus, purchasing this type of insurance would be redundant, as your medical bills will already be covered by PIP. However, the limit for PIP insurance is low, purchasing an additional medical payments coverage policy may offer you supplemental coverage. In this case, having both types of coverage can be beneficial.
How Much Does Medical Payments Coverage Usually Cost?
Just like the cost of all types of auto insurance, the cost of medical payments coverage will vary. There are a number of factors that will affect the cost of this type of car insurance. The limit of your policy will largely determine the cost of this policy; the higher your limit is, the more the coverage will cost. The limit for medical payments coverage is determined by the policyholder, so you do have a say in how much your policy will cost. With most auto insurance providers, however, medical payments coverage is usually a very inexpensive add-on. An extra $10 per month on top of your existing auto insurance policy can usually get you very good coverage.
How Much Coverage Do I Need?
Generally, MedPay coverage is an optional type of coverage; however, depending on where you live, it may be legally required to have this type of protection written into your auto insurance policy (but it may be possible to reject the coverage). For example, it is required with all auto insurance policies in New Hampshire, Maine, and Pennsylvania.
The amount of coverage you need depends on where you live and if it is required; check with your state to find out if it is a required coverage, and if so, how much coverage you need to carry. If it is not required, you have the option to choose the limits for this policy. The maximum amounts will vary by state and by insurance provider, though they are usually no more than $10,000. The amount of coverage you choose to carry should be based on your personal health insurance and your finances.
How Do I Choose My MedPay Limits?
Again, find out whether or not this type of coverage is required by your state and if so, how much coverage you need to carry. If it isn’t required, consider your unique needs to determine what limits would work for you. For instance, if you want your medical payments coverage to cover the cost of your health insurance deductible, a couple of thousand dollars in coverage may be enough; however, if the limits on your health insurance or low or you don’t have health coverage, a higher limit may be a better option.
How To Get Medical Payments Coverage
If you are considering adding medical payments coverage to your policy, why wait? MedPay 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. 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 as soon as possible. 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.