Injuries are an unfortunate outcome for many motor accidents, and as such, car insurance comes with ways to make sure you can pay for medical costs. The three parts of car insurance concerned with health are bodily injury liability (BI), medical payments and personal injury protection (PIP). The former is mandatory while the latter two are optional (in most states). This article will be most concerned with those two.
PIP and MedPay are meant to cover any injury you or your passengers sustain in an accident. If you have an actual health insurance policy, you may question why you would need them in the first place. While that may seem like an obvious question, there are actually several advantages to adding one or both of those coverages, even if you have health insurance.
They Are Safety Nets If Your Health Insurance Company Denies You
Depending on your company, there is always a possibility they will deny your claim because it happened in a car crash. You are not expected to scour every detail of your policy, so there may very well be certain provisions that prohibit you for filing a claim due to an accident. The good thing about PIP or MedPay is that you just have to file a claim through your car insurer to be quickly reimbursed and able to start paying medical bills right away. PIP and MedPay don't require you to prove that the other driver was at-fault for the accident; regardless, you will see compensation for your injuries. Without the coverage, you would be forced to pay out of pocket if your health insurer denies your claim.
They Cover Your Passengers' Injuries
If you are driving with passengers, and they get injured, your health insurance won't cover them (unless they are on your plan). In an accident in which you were the driver with many passengers and lots of damage, passengers may be looking toward you to pay their bills. If you have low insurance limits, you probably won't be able to satisfy them all. With PIP or MedPay however, that coverage extends to your passengers, giving you several extra thousand dollars to help take care of their injuries. If you frequently find yourself in the car with passengers, it may be well worth to add one of these coverages to your policy.
PIP Pays for Lost Wages Due to Injury
If you suffer a debilitating injury due to a car crash, then you will most likely have to miss some time from work. Any work absence can be a financial strain; luckily PIP (not MedPay) has a work loss addition, which will help pay for lost wages, up to a certain amount per your policy. Work loss is usually not a part of a health insurance plan, and would need to be purchased in a separate Disability Insurance plan.
They Also Pay for Any Funeral Costs
A tough thought, but a sometimes-necessary one. Funerals costs anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000. If a loved one dies in a car accident, PIP or MedPay would pay for the funeral costs. An ordinary health insurance plan will not do the same. Without those two insurances, you would be forced to pay for the funeral out of pocket.
Even though most states do not make PIP or MedPay mandatory, you should strongly consider adding it to your car insurance policy. For only about $100 to $200 per year, you can add thousands of dollars worth of valuable medical coverage. If you can afford them, it may be well worth the comfort of knowing you have that much extra protection.