Treatment for auto accident injuries can cost more than auto repairs-maybe even more than the value of the car! If you have a high-deductible health plan, that means you could end up with thousands of dollars in medical bills.
Medical payments coverage covers those costs regardless of who is found at fault in the accident. In California, medical payments coverage is optional. Even if you have superior health insurance, consider it a necessity.
What does medical payments insurance cover?
Medical payments coverage pays for medical expenses related to the accident-emergency room, hospital, and ambulance services, X-Rays, funerals, chiropractic visits, physical therapy, and dental care, among other costs. It also covers injuries sustained by your passengers and the limits of medical payments coverage apply to each occupant of your vehicle.
If you're hit by a car while walking or riding your bike, medical payments coverage still applies. You don't have to be driving your car to take advantage of medical payments coverage.
Some health insurers don't cover injuries sustained in an auto accident. Medical payments coverage does.
Will my premiums go up if I use it?
Medical payments is a no-fault coverage, which means that using it does not affect your insurance rates. Insurers raise rates for at-fault accidents or moving violations, but not for medical payments.
Consider your medical payments coverage as cash. You don't have to worry if the provider is in-network or out-of-network. If you are a Kaiser member, you can get treatment from a non-Kaiser provider. Health care providers can bill your auto insurer directly. In many cases, they prefer this.
How much coverage do I need?
How much medical payments coverage you need depends on your current health insurance coverage. I recommend at least $5,000 in coverage and $25,000 if budget allows. Fortunately, medical payments coverage is one of the least expensive options on your auto insurance policy. The difference between $10,000 and $25,000 in coverage equates to a few dollars a month.
Research insurers' medical payments rates, as costs vary widely between companies. For a 30-year-old married man driving a Toyota Camry in Indiana, State Farm charges $6.87 for $25,000 in medical payments coverage. Allstate charges $32.
Your health is more important than your car. Protect yourself with medical payments coverage.
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