C. Medical Coverage
Most auto policies with medical coverage will pay medical expenses for
injury resulting from an automobile accident regardless of who is at fault.
simple as slamming your thumb in the car door to being seriously injured
in an auto
accident are covered. You would be covered even if you are injured while
or out of a vehicle.
It's important to know which type of medical coverage you have on your
policy. Some policies pay regardless of any other medical coverage you
while other policies cover only as "excess medical." In essence,
they pay only after
you have exhausted your major medical coverage, the uninsured and/or under-insured
motorist coverages, or the other person's bodily injury liability. Usually,
if the medical
coverage is "excess medical," the premium will be substantially
lower than medical
coverage that pays no matter what other medical coverages you may have.
companies offer auto medical coverage with a deductible at a slightly
That leads to the next consideration. Do you need auto medical coverage?
Here are some thoughts to consider in making your evaluation regarding
coverage. The first and most important question to ask yourself, "Do
I have major
medical coverage?" If the answer is yes, review your policy to determine
maximum out of pocket risk is after your deductibles and co-payments are
excellent way to do this is to call your major medical benefits department
these questions. "If I'm involved in an auto accident and injured
and have no other
coverage to pay my medical expenses, how does my plan work? What is my
maximum out of pocket expense before the plan pays 100%?" Answers
simple questions will tell you what your maximum out of pocket risk is.
You must also remember that if the accident isn't your fault, you would
have medical coverage under the other person's bodily injury liability
coverage. If the
other party involved had no bodily injury liability coverage or not enough
your uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverages would pay your
expenses up to the policy limits.
To sum it up, if the only true risk you would incur is your deductible
payment on your major medical insurance and you can afford that risk,
ask yourself, "Do I need the medical coverage on my auto insurance?"
savings of premium dollars, 5% to 10%, realized by not carrying auto medical
coverage would be substantial. Remember, you have to be at fault in the
pay anything out of pocket if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Some
don't have the money to risk self insuring the major medical deductible
payment. If you are in that group, buy only the amount of medical coverage
need to meet those costs. Coverage is usually available in $1,000 or $5,000
increments up to $100,000. Some insurance companies include medical coverage
in their policies that cannot be excluded. Bear in mind in that instance,
you are paying for
the coverage whether you want it or not. So evaluate your maximum risk,
ability to pay that amount, the chances of being at fault in an accident,
and the cost
to insure for medical coverage on your auto insurance policy. You decide
best for you.
The major misunderstanding about auto medical coverage is, "What
my passengers?" In most states and in most policies, the passengers
by the "at fault" party's bodily injury liability coverage or
your uninsured and/or
underinsured motorist coverages. The only way you would be responsible
passengers medical expenses is if the accident was your fault. If that
case, your bodily injury liability would cover them. In addition, if they
and/or underinsured motorist coverages on their own auto insurance, they
covered to their policy limits no matter who was at fault. Their auto
major medical coverage, if carried, would also cover them.
Medical coverage is probably the most duplicated coverage in the auto
policy. Mostpeople who carry major medical coverage don't need the additional
medical coverage on their auto policy.
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