Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Oct 14, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

Auto insurance is often thought of as a product that protects you from litigation when someone is injured in an accident.

While this is the core purpose of any basic auto insurance policy, vehicle owners can purchase more than just third-party benefits and coverage for their vehicle.

If you’re in the process of shopping around for low-cost auto insurance, it’s important that you look beyond price. As you’re getting quotes, you’ll be asked to select coverage options and limits for a quote based on the type of coverage that you want.

Enter your zip code in the comparison tool above to begin comparing car insurance rates for free!

One coverage most states offer is Medical Payments Coverage. Before you decide against the coverage, here’s what you need to know about the benefits and how they work:

What does medical payments coverage pay for?

Auto insurance pays to repair cars but it can also help to pay to heal people. The insurance won’t pay for medical treatment after any type of accidental injury, but it may help you cover the cost to receive medical treatment if you’re in a car crash.

One of the coverage options that pays for your medical bills instead of someone else’s is Medical Payments.

Medical Payments coverage helps you pay for reasonable medical expenses when you’re involved in any type of vehicle-related accident.

The coverage will pay for ambulance transit, emergency room visits, hospital stay, medical equipment, doctors visits, and funeral expenses. It does not pay for lost income or life insurance benefits.

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Who does medical payments cover?

All policies include coverage that will pay for third-party medical expenses. That’s because all vehicle owners are required by law to carry Bodily Injury Liability.

Medical Payments Coverage is different because it covers you and those who are close to you rather than third-party pedestrians and vehicle occupants.

One thing that’s great about Medical Payments is that it doesn’t only pay for your medical bills, it also pays for everyone’s medical bills if they were occupants in your vehicle at the time of the crash.

If a household family member or driver is injured in an accident, even if it’s not in the insured car, coverage will extend.

When does the coverage payout a benefit?

There are several different scenarios where Medical Payments will pay.

You don’t even have to be in a car for your injuries to be covered. That’s because Medical Payments is a very flexible coverage option that pays for losses if you’re at-fault or not-at-fault for the accident.

Here are some examples of when claims filed against Medical Payments will pay:

  • You are driving your vehicle and you’re injured in an at-fault accident
  • You are driving a rental car and you’re injured in a not-at-fault accident
  • You are sitting in the passenger seat of a friend’s car and you’re injured
  • Your child is walking to school and they are hit by a motorcyclist
  • A household family member on your policy is injured when they borrow a friend’s car
  • You are injured in a crash while riding public transportation
  • Your spouse is bicycling around your block and they are hit by a truck
  • You are driving and your backseat passenger is injured

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How much will medical payments pay for medical expenses?

There’s not an exhaustive list that defines exactly what types of treatment are covered when you’re claiming Medical Payments benefits. As long as the treatment is reasonable and necessary, it should be covered.

You will have to present bills to the insurer to have the invoices paid or to be reimbursed. As far as limits are concerned, your policy will only pay up to the limit of liability that you’ve selected.

Another advantage of Med Pay is that the limit is written on a per person basis.

This means that everyone who’s injured in the car will receive the same amount to pay for their bills. If you have a $10,000 benefit and there are four people in your car, the company may have to pay up to $40,000.

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When does it make the most sense to purchase medical payments coverage?

Anyone can benefit from having Medical Payments Coverage if they are even hurt in a crash, but some drivers are more at risk than others.

If you’re not sure it’s worth it to pay extra money for a coverage that’s only useful when you’re injured, here are some of the scenarios where having the no-fault coverage can save the day:

  • You or someone in your home doesn’t have medical insurance
  • You drive your kid’s friends around in your car often
  • You have medical insurance but it doesn’t cover injuries sustained in a car accident
  • You have a high deductible plan or a high co-pay and need extra protection
  • You own a smaller vehicle where vehicle occupants can suffer serious injuries in an accident

How much are medical payments?

Medical payments premiums differ from driver to driver. When you purchase your policy, the rates will be calculated by looking at your vehicle’s safety record and your driving record. After considering these rating factors, the carrier will assign a premium per unit.

The only way to determine whether or not Medical Payments is worth it or not is to get a quote. Ask your current insurer for a quote and then use an online rate comparison tool to get quotes for the same limits through other carriers.

Enter your zip code below to begin comparing now!