What Does Medical Insurance on an Auto Insurance Policy Cover?

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Andrew Lee is insurance content writer and editor for BudgetMethod.com. Andrew holds a Bachelor's degree from Ryerson University and has extensive experience of writing content for financial websites. His expertise is especially strong in home and auto insurance.

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When searching for auto insurance one of the most important things you want to guarantee you have is some sort of insurance to where if a person is injured in a car accident, whether it is your fault or not, that they will be able to get the proper care they need at what is hopefully the best price. While medical payments insurance may not cover everything in the event of an accident but it’s still pretty useful to have as it covers things such as injuries to you and anyone in the car even if they aren’t covered under your auto insurance policy. If you are only interested in covering only the family members on the policy than you would only need something known as Bodily Injury Liability but we will discuss each type of insurance further and take a look at why it is probably a good idea for you to include medical payments insurance on your auto insurance policy.

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What is Body Liability and What is Covered Under This Policy?

Body liability coverage is one of the most basic insurance policies that is normally required by most states in order to actually drive on the road. This policy covers people that are involved in an accident if they are injured and if it is proved that you were at fault for the accident. This can include people covered under your policy, the other driver and their passengers or even pedestrians and even bystanders. Body liability does have a limit and it will not necessarily cover all of the expense that you may be responsible for. 

For this type of coverage, the amount that the insurance company will pay depends on the amount of coverage that you select for your policy. What this means is that once the insurance company has maxed out on the amount of money they are willing to pay for injuries you will be financially responsible. There is a maximum for the both the total amount they will pay per incident and the total amount they will pay per person involved in the accident. 

What Isn’t Covered by Body Liability and Why You Might Need Medical Payments Insurance Coverage?

Depending on the situation that you are in this coverage may be enough for you. But since we cannot foresee what accidents may happen in the future some people opt for a more extensive coverage through something known as medical payments insurance.  

Medical payments insurance covers far more than just body liability coverage and can be helpful in paying for any injuries or long-lasting damage to yourself or people that were in your own vehicle even if they are not listed in your policy. Not only that but if you are riding in the car with someone else and their insurance does not cover you if an accident were to occur your own insurance would still be able to assist you with any treatments needed from injuries. 

Some of the different types of things that medical payments insurance can cover are: 

  • Treatment of you or anyone in your vehicle for injuries that occurred in a car accident. This includes medical (x-rays, protheses or artificial limbs, and any care services needed following injury) or any dental care. It can also include surgical care or if needed chiropractic care. 
  • Treatment of you or your family members even when riding in another driver’s vehicle.
  • Any fees required to go to the hospital including health insurance deductibles, copays, and ambulance fees.
  • Funeral costs if crash is fatal. 

Things Not Covered by Medical Payments Insurance and Type of Insurance Needed (If Available)

There are certain things in your life that can be affected by a car accident but not all of these things would be covered by body liability coverage or even by medical payments insurance. 

One thing that is covered by body liability that isn’t covered by medical payments insurance is treatment of injuries to other drivers that were involved in a car accident you caused. This is why liability is one of the minimum coverages that most states require a driver to have. 

Some other things not covered by either type of these coverages would be:

  • Wage reimbursement if injuries from the crash cause you to miss work
  • Childcare costs if you need assistance due to limitations cause by car accident
  • Any medical treatment for health problems and injuries that are not related to a car accident. (For example: you get into a car accident and your back is hurting, but you already had a preexisting condition that was causing the back pain. The insurance would not cover treatment in relation to this because it was not caused by a car accident.)

For the first two items in the above list you can get an additional type of insurance called personal injury protection. While the benefit to personal injury protection is that you will have these things covered, the downfall is that there is typically a deductible that will be required for this plan. A deductible is less common with medical payments insurance. 

These two types of coverage both have their benefits but because the type of coverage they offer overlaps most people only opt for one or the other. 

So, Should You Get Medical Payments Insurance? 

Unless you live in a state where this type of coverage is required, you’re probably wondering if it’s really necessary for you to add this insurance to your policy. Honestly, the answer varies for drivers depending on their needs and their individual situations. You might get medical payments insurance and never have to use it but you won’t be doing yourself any harm by having that protection just in case you find yourself in a situation where you’d need it.

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