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What is medical payments (MedPay) coverage?

Medical payments coverage, also known as MedPay, is an add-on to commercial auto insurance that covers the medical bills of the driver and any passengers in the event of an accident. MedPay is “no-fault” insurance, meaning it covers your medical bills regardless of who was at fault.

MedPay covers medical expenses for drivers and others

Medical payments insurance offers coverage for the medical bills of you and your passengers in the event of an auto accident that causes a bodily injury. It’s supplementary coverage for your commercial auto insurance and your regular health insurance plan.

It also covers the medical expenses of injured pedestrians and cyclists, whether you injure someone in an accident, or if someone else injures you while you’re walking, cycling, or using public transportation.

MedPay coverage includes numerous health care expenses and medical treatments that your car insurance company might not cover after an accident. This includes emergency room visits, X-rays, surgery, ambulance costs, chiropractic bills, rehabilitation, and some medical devices, such as prostheses.

It can also cover the policyholder’s out-of-pocket costs from other insurance coverage, such as health insurance deductibles and co-pays.

How does MedPay work?

When you buy MedPay coverage, you choose limits that determine how much the policy will pay on a claim.

For example, let’s say you drive into a tree after swerving to avoid a deer in the road. You injure your arm, which results in a $500 X-ray and a $1,000 cast. Luckily, you have $2,000 in MedPay, which provides full reimbursement for your screening and treatment.

If your policy limit was only $1,000, then you’d have to pay the remaining $500 out of pocket.

What is the difference between MedPay and PIP insurance?

Similar to MedPay, personal injury protection (PIP) insurance covers medical costs from a car accident, no matter who was at fault. However, PIP coverage is more extensive than MedPay.

PIP benefits include physical therapy, lost wages, and transportation costs for medical appointments. It can also provide support for childcare and housecleaning if you typically perform these duties but are unable to do so following the accident.

PIP insurance typically has higher coverage limits than MedPay. Depending on state laws, PIP may also include death benefits to help with funeral expenses in the event of a fatality.

About a dozen states require PIP insurance. For example, in Florida you must have $10,000 of PIP coverage included in your car insurance policy.

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Is MedPay coverage required on a car insurance policy?

There’s usually no need to purchase MedPay if you are carrying PIP insurance, as it offers broader coverage.

However, there are a few instances where you might need MedPay:

  • Drivers in Maine must carry $2,000 in MedPay coverage
  • Auto insurance is optional in New Hampshire. If you buy it, you must carry $1,000 in MedPay coverage
  • If your state does not offer PIP insurance, then you should strongly consider buying MedPay

Who should get medical payments coverage with auto insurance?

Specific professions that could benefit from carrying MedPay coverage include:

Auto service professionals

Auto repair shops and mechanics spend a lot of time behind the wheel diagnosing problems, picking up supplies, and delivering vehicles, which puts them at risk of an accident involving an injury.

Real estate professionals

Real estate agents and brokers are often on the road visiting properties, sometimes with clients. If a client is harmed in an accident, an agent could face hefty medical costs without MedPay insurance.

Construction and contracting professionals

Those in the construction and building trades drive to and from job sites and transport supplies. They also might have to drive around a busy construction site, which puts them at risk of an accident with other vehicles or pedestrians.

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Updated: February 20, 2024

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