There are numerous situations in which state minimum auto insurance coverage is not enough to cover the expenses associated with an accident. Last month we discussed the importance of having uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, which is often overlooked, but never regretted. Today, we are looking a med pay, medical payment coverage.
What is Medical Payment coverage?
Medical Payment coverage is exactly what it sounds like. In the event of an accident, Med pay covers the medical, dental and funeral expenses of you and your passengers regardless of who is at fault. Med pay can even be helpful if you are an injured passenger in someone else’s vehicle or if you are struck by a vehicle while walking or cycling.
What about health insurance?
Many people mistakenly decline med pay because they have personal health insurance. Health insurance companies offer various levels of coverage depending on the nature of the injury, testing, and treatment. It’s impossible to predict your injuries, but it is possible for an injury or test not to be covered by your health insurance. Additionally, co-pays and deductibles add up quickly, and you may even reach an annual maximum before your bills are said and done. Med pay can cover your deductibles and pick up where your health insurance ends.
The Difference between PIP and MedPay
Personal Injury Protection is a requirement in no fault states like Kentucky. All Kentucky vehicles are required to have a minimum of $10,000 per person, per accident Personal Injury Protection. Like Med pay, regardless of who is at fault, PIP is paid to injured occupants of the insured vehicle. While both PIP and Med pay cover medical expenses, only PIP covers lost income. At the same time, only Med pay covers pedestrians and cyclists. PIP also carries a deductible, while Med pay does not. In most states you can opt for one or both PIP and Med pay, depending on your needs.
Keep in mind that in Kentucky, once medical expenses exceed $1,000, there is a broken bone, permanent injury, or death, the claim is no longer considered no fault and further relief can be sought.
What do you recommend?
If you do not have personal health insurance, we strongly recommend you add Med Pay coverage of at least $10,000 to your auto policy. Even if you do have coverage, we recommend at least $5,000 or your medical deductible, whichever is greater. At about $50/year, Med pay is essentially cheap medical insurance.
Being involved in an accident is devastating enough without being saddled with debt. Make sure you are prepared with the proper coverage. Of course, if you are involved in an accident, the office of Scott M. Schweiger is here to help. Click here or call us at 513-489-0881.