Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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The lowdown...

  • Medical Payments Coverage is an optional first-party medical benefit that you can add to your auto insurance
  • Some states require carriers to offer Medical Payments; if you don’t want it, you must sign a rejection form
  • You can add the coverage in increments of $1000; the limit that you choose pays out on a per person basis
  • Premiums for Medical Payments are based on the limit, the carrier, the vehicle you drive, and your driving record
  • If you don’t have medical insurance or you currently have a high copay medical plan, you may need the coverage

Car insurance isn’t the same thing as medical insurance. While they are two very different types of coverage, your car insurance could pay for some of your medical treatment costs if you have the right coverage and you’re injured in an auto-related accident.

Since healthcare costs are on the rise, it’s very important to build a policy that will help you recover from a car accident.

Not all auto insurance policies will cover your own medical bills like they cover third-party medical bills. If you want to feel secure in knowing that you can call your company when you need to see a doctor, consider adding Medical Payments Coverage to your policy.

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If you’re assessing the premium costs, here’s what you should consider:

What does Medical Payments Coverage pay for?

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Medical Payments is a supplemental form of protection that you can add to your standard car insurance policy. This is a first-party coverage that covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses after you’re injured in or by a car.

What makes this a great option is that it pays for reasonable if you’re a driver, passenger, or even a pedestrian.

Even the best drivers make mistakes behind the wheel. The mistakes that you make can injure other parties and people in your own car. Unfortunately, when you’re at fault for a collision, you can’t file a claim for benefits under the under driver’s auto insurance.

Since you caused the accident, you have to pick up the pieces on your own.

Medical Payments is a great solution because it pays when you’re at fault or when you’re not at fault. Fault isn’t a factor when a claim for benefits is made. At the end of the day, you’ll have coverage as long as the crash that you were in wasn’t intentional.

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How much coverage can you buy?

Coverage is sold in increments of $1000 with most carriers. You can choose limits of $1,000, $2,000, $3,000, $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, $50,000, and $100,000. Whichever limit you choose will pay out on a per person basis.

This means that you and your passengers can all file a claim for their medical bills and the limit will apply to each of your separately.

In most states, you’re not required by law to buy auto insurance that pays for your own medical bills. The general focus of state-mandated coverage requirements is on protecting other drivers so that they can pay for their medical expenses after they are injured in an accident.

While it’s not common, there are a few states where you are required to buy first-party medical coverage. These states are called no-fault states and the coverage that you must carry in these no-fault states is called Personal Injury Protection (PIP).

PIP is a bit different than Medical Payments because it provides protection for more than just medical bills.

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How much does Medical Payments Coverage cost?

There’s not just a fixed premium for Medical Payments Coverage. If you’re trying to decide if it’s worth the cost, you should understand how the premium for the coverage addition is calculated.

Every carrier sets their own premiums for Medical Payments. While the rates will vary, carriers use the same information to calculate rates.

The information that’s used includes:

  • The limit that you select
  • Your driving record
  • Your zip code and rate the accidents in the area
  • The vehicle you drive and it’s ISO rating showing how many people are injured in the car based on past insurance claims data

Many times, when you file a first-party claim against your policy, you’re expected to cover your deductible. Fortunately, when you file a Medical Payments claims, no deductible applies.

You will receive the benefit, up to the limits on your policy, without having to exceed any type of threshold.

You aren’t required by law to buy Medical Payments Coverage but insurers must extend you the offer to buy it.

Since the states require carriers to tell applicants about the coverage, the carrier will ask that you sign a rejection form. The company will keep this form on file to show that you did, in fact, get an offer for the benefit.

When should a policyholder add Medical Payments to their policy?

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There are a number of reasons that you should consider adding an optional coverage like Medical Payments to your car insurance.

Not all supplemental forms of coverage will pay off, but since the cost for Medical Payments is fairly low, it makes a lot of sense to spend the money just in case you need the protection on a rainy day.

There are a few scenarios where drivers should have Medical Payments coverage at all times. Failing to add the coverage could be devastating if you break an arm, suffer from a sore back, or have more serious medical issues after an accident. Here are some of the scenarios to consider:

  • You have a high-deductible medical insurance plan or a high co-pay
  • Your medical insurance doesn’t pay to visit a chiropractor
  • You don’t have medical insurance
  • You transport friends who may not have insurance on a regular basis
  • You drive a risky vehicle with poor safety ratings

The only way to really make a decision is to get a quote showing how much your insurer will charge to add Medical Payments. If you feel like the quote is too high, you should compare premiums with several carriers.

Enter your policy information in our quote comparison tool and you’re one step away from making an informed decision.