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Why You Need Medical Payments Coverage

In almost every state across the country, there are certain requirements for every driver in terms of the kinds of auto insurance they must carry. In the majority of states, medical payments coverage is not mandatory, although it is a required element in some form in the no-fault states. Medical payments coverage provides for the medical care of the covered driver and any accompanying passengers who are in the covered vehicle at the time of an accident resulting in injury. This type of coverage includes provisions for the driver and passengers regardless of who is at fault in the collision. Because of its wide range of included expenses and because of the wide range of accidents it covers, medical payments coverage is a very important component of an auto insurance plan that every policy holder should strongly consider adding, even in areas where such coverage is only optional.

No-Fault Medical Payments Insurance

In the twelve no-fault states and the territory of Puerto Rico, medical payments coverage is a compulsory part of each driver's overall stable of auto coverage. Many states require PIP or personal injury protection coverage, which encompasses all the basic coverage included in medical payments insurance and also adds coverage for certain post-accident expenses such as rehabilitation. But even in states with required PIP provisions, it is important to consider the need for medical coverage as a part of your auto insurance plan. The truth is that most states require very little PIP coverage. If you want to really protect yourself and your family, it is a good idea to purchase the level of coverage on your plan above and beyond the state minimum.

Medical payments coverage is a versatile and valuable component of any auto insurance plan, either in a no-fault state or otherwise. It includes coverage for expenses related to the medical and/or funeral expenses incurred for drivers and passengers in the covered vehicle at the time of an accident, regardless of who was at fault in the crash. Medical payments coverage also may apply when the covered driver on the policy and family members are in other vehicles and get into accidents, or when any of them is struck by a vehicle while walking as a pedestrian.

Limits of Health Insurance Coverage

Some people think that because they are covered by health insurance, they have no need for medical payments coverage as a part of their auto insurance policy. In most cases, this is simply not true. Even with a good health insurance plan, you still may have some need for auto medical payments coverage. For example, if you are covered by a comprehensive health insurance plan, you might not be aware that a medical payments endorsement on your auto insurance may help take care of your health insurance deductible related to the cost of after-collision care. This is because medical payments coverage is a secondary source of protection, meaning it kicks in after other insurance options have been exhausted.

If you are involved in an accident and the other driver is at fault and carries liability coverage, for example, your medical payments coverage will not be utilized unless the limit of the other driver's liability protection is reached. Medical payments coverage is valuable supplementary protection that helps to fill out the totality of your auto and medical insurance coverage. It often covers expenses not normally included in the reach of health insurance coverage. For example, dental, prosthetic limb, and funeral costs are quite often not covered under most health insurance plans as they relate to after-accident care, but they are included in many medical payments auto plans. If you are covered by a good health insurance plan, it is very wise to check into the limits of coverage as they pertain to after-collision care, and compare them to the coverage afforded by medical payments coverage on your auto insurance to determine whether duplicative coverage exists.

There are some variables to consider when thinking about adding medical payments coverage to your auto insurance policy. The length of time for which your coverage will apply following an accident is one variable. Some policies include coverage for medical expenses for several years following an accident, while others have much shorter time spans. Another variable is the exact nature or designation of your medical payments protection. In most cases it is secondary as previously mentioned. This means it only goes to work for you when all other coverage options have been exhausted. This somewhat limits the frequency of occasions in which you might come to use this coverage, but it also keeps costs down. In fact, the additional cost to your policy might be less than ten dollars per month when you add medical coverage to an auto plan [1].

Reasons to Add Medical Coverage

There are numerous good reasons why you should add medical payments coverage to your auto insurance policy, even in states where it is not required. The cost of this coverage is certainly not prohibitive, and the extra protection it adds to your policy really increases the value of your coverage. Even if you have a good health insurance policy, you might consider adding this endorsement to your plan just for the protection it would give any passengers in your vehicle if an accident were to occur while they were in the vehicle with you. Liability auto insurance does not cover expenses related to accidents in which no one is proven to be at fault, nor does it cover accidents you cause. To protect your passengers in a more substantial way, add medical payments coverage.

Adding a good amount of medical payments coverage beyond the minimum is a smart idea even in no-fault states. Some states will allow you to designate your health insurance policy as the primary source of your medical coverage, which can help to hold down the cost of the medical payments component of your auto plan. Also, medical payments coverage is not like a PPO or an HMO like a health insurance plan, so you usually have much more flexibility in seeking treatment after an accident.

This coverage is relatively inexpensive and delivers a great deal of value for the money, making it an excellent auto insurance investment. It covers injuries sustained in any kind of car accident, whether you hit another vehicle, a deer, or a tree-or just roll your vehicle over on an icy road. The coverage is not based on fault and pays out regardless of any fault determination. All in all, the coverage afforded by auto medical payments coverage is comprehensive and useful in many different kinds of situations.

Medical payments coverage is an excellent elective endorsement option in states that do not require any kind of medical protection on auto insurance plans, and a very important part of an overall policy in no-fault states with medical payments requirements. For a relatively small additional premium, you can add medical payments protection to your auto policy and fill a very important gap in your overall coverage. Add medical payments insurance protection for its versatility and for its tremendous value. It helps complete your auto insurance policy.

[1] Retrieved 2010-01-09.


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