Car insurance: Liability insurance vs. medical payments

When you’re shopping for car insurance, there are tons of terms and coverages that can get thrown around. Some of them are built to help you pay other drivers, but some of them are built to help you directly. Understanding which ones are which can be difficult, especially when they sound very similar. Two of these coverages in particular, bodily injury liability and medical payments insurance, can be life-savers in different ways. But understanding these coverages will take more than just a glance at their names. So, here’s what you need to know about each type of coverage.

What is bodily injury liability in car insurance?

Bodily injury liability for auto insurance can help you pay for the medical bills of another driver and their passengers if you’re found to be at-fault in an accident. It’s also the part of your car insurance that can help you pay for legal fees if anyone in the other car decides to sue you.

This type of coverage is typically just to handle your legal obligation to the other driver in an accident. This is why your state probably requires you to have a minimum amount of bodily injury liability coverage per person and per accident. However, the state required minimum may not be enough to completely cover your obligation if you’re at fault.

For example, let’s say that your state only requires you to have a $25,000 limit in bodily injury liability coverage per person and a $50,000 limit per accident. One day, you’re found to be at fault for an accident where, you, your passenger, another driver, and three of their passengers are injured.

Not only would your liability coverage not help pay for your medical bills, but it may only partially cover the medical expenses of the people in the other car. One or more of those parties could then sue you. All of these charges could quickly eat up the limits of your auto insurance coverage. Therefore, your auto insurance carrier could stop helping you pay. This is why you should consider having more than the state-required limit of liability of car insurance.

However, if you also want to take care of the medical expenses you and your passengers may have, you may also want to consider medical payments insurance.

What is medical payments coverage?

Medical payments insurance (or MedPay) is a type of coverage that you can add to your car insurance to help you cover:

  • The medical bills of you, as a driver, and your passengers if you’re in an accident.
  • Your medical bills if you’re injured as a passenger in another vehicle
  • Your medical bills if you’re hit by a car as a pedestrian.

MedPay is a no-fault coverage, which means that it may help you cover the above expenses whether you’re found to be at-fault for an accident or not.

Many drivers overlook medical payments coverage because most states don’t require it. Additionally, MedPay usually doesn’t begin to pay for your medical expenses unless you’ve already gone over the coverage limits for your health insurance.

However, let’s say that you’re riding in a car with your friend. That friend fails to yield at an intersection, and another vehicle T-bones the passenger side. They’re found to be at-fault for the accident.

Now, you need a few major surgeries as a result of the accident. You find out that the total of your medical bills costs more than the coverage limit of your health insurance. If you had medical payments coverage, your policy could help pick up the slack from where your health insurance left off – even though the accident didn’t happen in your car.

What is the difference between MedPay and PIP?

You may have also heard of something called Personal Injury Protection (PIP). MedPay coverage and PIP are admittedly very similar. However, PIP coverage may cover a wider variety of injuries than medical payments insurance; PIP may also have a higher coverage limit than your carrier’s MedPay plans. Additionally, PIP is sometimes required for your state while MedPay usually is not.

Still, it’s important to check what your state minimum requirements are for auto insurance. If you’re in a state that requires PIP, you may still want to add MedPay to your coverage. However, some states won’t allow a driver to have both PIP and MedPay.

In either case, our insurance professionals are here to help you get the coverage that can keep you compliant with your state laws and cover whatever mayhem may come your way. They also know how to get the best rates on the specific coverage you need. So, call us today, fill out our easy online form, or LiveChat with a professional today to make sure you’re not missing out on the affordable car insurance you need!