Medical Payments Coverage: Car Insurance Options
Also called Medpay coverage, medical payments coverage in an auto policy pays for your or your passengers' medical and funeral expenses incurred due to a car accident, even if you were the at-fault driver. You may even be covered as a pedestrian or bicyclist if you are struck by a vehicle. Medical payments coverage for car insurance can be affordable and drivers may find coverage for less than $10 per month.
What Is Medical Payments Coverage for Car Insurance?
In an auto policy, medical payments (Medpay) coverage pays for medical and funeral expenses incurred as a result of a car accident. Medpay coverage pays for these expenses regardless of who was at fault, so you will still be covered if you caused the accident. Beyond yourself, Medpay coverage will extend to your passengers and any household members (unless specifically excluded in your policy) driving your vehicle.
What Does Medpay Cover?
Medpay coverage in an auto policy will pay for the following medical or funeral expenses:
Emergency room bills
Some dental procedures
Health insurance deductibles and copays
Auto accident injuries sustained as a pedestrian or bicyclist
Funeral expenses if the car accident resulted in fatalities
What Doesn't Medpay Cover?
You are not covered under Medpay for the following expenses and scenarios:
Bodily injuries or property damages to the other party in a car accident you caused
Damages to your vehicle (covered under collision)
Loss of income due to injuries preventing you from returning to work
Medical expenses in excess of your Medpay coverage limit
Non-auto related injuries
How Does Medical Payments Coverage Work
Medpay coverage is specifically for medical expenses incurred as a result of a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. There is no deductible or copayment before coverage kicks in. Generally, a Medpay claims process will require you to forward all relevant medical records and bills to get reimbursed, up to the coverage limits.
Medpay coverage is optional and is not a requirement for driving legally. This does not apply to personal injury protection, which functions similarly to Medpay but is required coverage in no-fault states (more on that later).
Medpay coverage follows the policyholder and not the vehicle for auto-related medical expenses. If you were injured in an auto accident as a pedestrian or while riding your bicycle, then you typically are covered under Medpay.
Say you suffer a neck injury after rear-ending the driver in front of you at a stop sign. Your medical expenses total $1,000 and you have $1,500 in Medpay coverage. Even though you are the at-fault driver, you can file a Medpay claim and your auto insurer should cover the full $1,000 medical bill.
Things To Consider Before Adding Medpay to Your Policy
Health insurance will play a role in how much Medpay coverage you choose to buy.
Purchasing the minimum limits ($500 to $1,000) can be useful for treating minor injuries. Some healthcare plans may have a large deductible or copays that can increase your out-of-pocket costs for minor claims. Since Medpay coverage does not charge a deductible, you can get full coverage up to the limits.
If you do not have insurance at all, the Medpay coverage can be an affordable way to get medical coverage — at least for auto-related injuries. Or, if you have a health insurance deductible or copay then you may want to use Medpay to cover those costs specifically. However, if you are satisfied with your healthcare plan and deductible or copay, then Medpay insurance may not be necessary.
How Much Does Medpay Car Insurance Cost?
Medpay coverage is generally inexpensive and can cost less than $10 per month. Limits typically start at $500 or $1,000. Increasing your limits will increase the amount you pay for Medpay coverage.
Medpay Coverage Limits
$500 or $1,000 is generally the lowest coverage limit you can purchase. Some insurers may offer limits as high as $100,000.
What's the Difference Between Medpay and Personal Injury Protection?
The main differences between Medpay and personal injury protection (PIP) are availability, requirements and coverage scope.
PIP is available in states with no-fault laws. Similar to Medpay coverage, no-fault laws require that drivers are reimbursed by their own auto insurance companies for medical expenses, regardless of who is at fault. However, PIP is mandatory in several no-fault states and omitting coverage from your policy can be illegal.
PIP and Medpay share many of the same coverages, except PIP pays for loss of income. If you lose money because your auto-related injuries prevent you from returning to work, then your PIP coverage will reimburse you for your financial loss, up to the coverage limits.
Traditional tort states (no no-fault laws)
States with no-fault laws
First-party medical expenses
Loss of income protection
What's The Difference Between Liability And Medical Payments Coverage?
The circumstances in which Medpay coverage and liability coverage apply are different.
Medpay coverage only pays for medical expenses for you and your passengers, regardless of who is the at-fault driver. Liability coverage pays for the other party's medical expenses if they are the at-fault driver. If you are not the at-fault driver in a car accident, then the other driver's liability coverage pays for their losses and yours (unless they are uninsured or underinsured). Liability coverage pays for property damages, too, while Medpay will not cover any property damages at all, regardless of who is at fault.
Applies regardless of who is at fault
You are the at-fault driver
Your and your passenger's medical bills
Does not pay for your and your passenger's medical bills
Does not cover the other party's medical expenses and property damages if you are at-fault
Covers the other party's medical expenses and property damages if you are at-fault
Find Medpay Coverage for Cheap
Auto insurance is legally required in most states but Medpay isn't. As an optional coverage, it's nice to have in case of a car accident. SmartFinancial can help you find a new auto policy that includes Medpay coverage for a lower rate than what you're currently paying. Just enter your zip code below or call 855.214.2291 to get started on your free car insurance quotes.
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