How medical payments coverage saves you in an accident

Does your auto insurance policy include medical payments coverage? If not, it should.

Medical payments coverage pays your medical bills--including hospital bills, doctor visits, imaging, physical therapy, and chiropractic care, among other bills--incurred because of an accident. It protects you regardless of fault, and using it won't raise your rates.

If you have a high-deductible health plan, medical payments coverage keeps you from having to pay $6,000 or more out of pocket. If you're uninsured or bike on city roads, medical payments coverage is even more important.

Here are a few key advantages of medical payments coverage and why it's so important.

It's not dependent on "network" providers.

If you get in a serious auto accident, the EMTs may not know which hospital your health insurance covers. Medical payments coverage applies no matter where you seek care.

Some health insurance policies require a doctor's referral before you get an MRI or chiropractic care. Medical payments coverage isn't dependent on referrals. You don't have to schedule a visit with your primary care provider just to get a referral to a chiropractor. This process increases your out-of-pocket costs, causes you to miss more time from work, and delays treatment. With medical payments coverage, you can make most of those decisions yourself.

It covers you even if you're not in your car.

If you're hit by a car while walking or riding your bike, medical payments coverage still applies. Under most policies, the only provision is that the accident in question involves you and another vehicle. Policies differ, so make sure to read the fine print to confirm.

I once represented a young lady who was in an accident as a passenger on her boyfriend's motorcycle. She owned a car with medical payments coverage, but her boyfriend had no such coverage on his motorcycle.

Her policy provided that her medical payments coverage would apply if she was injured on someone else's vehicle, but it also provided that medical payments coverage did notapply if she was injured "while occupying a vehicle with less than four wheels."

Her insurer obviously wanted to exclude motorcycle-related injuries because they're usually so severe. As expected, we submitted the bills and they denied the claim.

We argued that she was not injured while occupying a vehicle with less than four wheels-she was injured when she left the vehicle and hit the pavement. We won the argument and the insurance company paid her medical bills.

It's affordable.

For a few dollars a month, you can get $10,000 in medical payments coverage. Take a look at this chart from ValuePenguin, which lists monthly premium costs for medical payments coverage for a 30-year-old man driving a Toyota Camry in Indiana.

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Call your insurer or shop around for a more accurate quote depending on your age, driving history, and vehicle.

We recommend at least $5,000 in coverage-$25,000 if budget allows. Fortunately, medical payments coverage is one of the least expensive options on your auto insurance policy.

If you're injured in an auto accident, your health insurance policy has its limitations. Protect yourself in an emergency with low-hassle medical payments coverage.

If you were seriously injured in an accident and suspect you have a legal claim, call our office  for a free consultation.

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David G. Smith, Attorney At Law
2201 Broadway
Penthouse 1
Oakland, CA 94612

Phone: 510-431-2598
Fax: 510-893-2701
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