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What is Medical Payments Coverage?

If you look at the coverage on your auto policy, you may see a curious entry called Medical Payments Coverage.  You probably didn’t discuss this overage with your agent, and you likely have no idea what it is for.  It just seems to be thrown in.

So what is Medical Payments Coverage?

Medical Payments Coverage is no-fault coverage that applies to all occupants of your vehicle.  It covers all medical expenses and applies regardless of who caused the accident.  In other words, if you were in an accident, and you or your passengers suffered injuries, the policy will cover the medical expenses.  The amount of coverage available is determined by the amount of coverage you purchased when the policy was issued.  Most commonly, the coverage comes in amounts of $1,000, $5,000, or even $10,000 per person.  Some companies offer more, while some omit it from their policy entirely. It is always good to know what you have before you need it!

Some people may think they will not need Medical Payments Coverage because they can simply collect the loss from the party who caused the accident.  That’s true—however, an at-fault insurer will never make a payment on medical bills unless it is a full and final settlement.  In other words, the at-fault insurer will never pay you for your medical bills unless you agree to release your claim forever, walking away from compensation for all future medical expenses and pain and suffering.  Medical payments coverage on your policy will help you meet those needs while you focus on your own health, leaving your claim open and valid.

Other folks may look at Medical Payments Coverage as unnecessary because medical insurance will cover all claims.  True, a traditional medical insurer will cover your medical care regardless of how it occurred.  That coverage, however, commonly comes with a large deductible or co-pays which put the injured person in a financial bind.  It is always best to utilize your medical insurance coverage when available, but supplementing that coverage with your auto policy’s Medical Payments Coverage is a smart option.  If used correctly, this coverage can protect you from the gap in coverage left by most medical insurers.

Like most types of medical insurance, using Medical Payments Coverage will create a subrogated claim for the auto insurer.  If you use this coverage because you were injured because of someone else’s fault, your auto insurer will expect repayment from your settlement proceeds.  Bearing that in mind, there is certainly a strategy when to submit a bill to Medical Payments Coverage as opposed to a traditional medical insurer.  You need a skilled lawyer to evaluate your circumstances and ensure the best insurer receives your bills.

Contact Us For Help

Many clients are concerned that using Medical Payments Coverage will cause their premiums to increase.  Although it is impossible to understand the complexities insurer’s use in their underwriting process, it is good to keep in mind that you paid for this insurance for a specific reason.  It makes little sense to hesitate when it comes time to use it.

At Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers, our Fox Cities car accident lawyers can help you manage payment of all medical bills as well as represent you against the at-fault insurer.  We have the knowledge and experience to ensure your bills are handled in a manner that will maximize your financial recovery.  Let us help you.

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