Insurance & Who Pays for What in a Claim

Does Your Own Insurance Cover Your Expenses from an Auto Accident?

Generally speaking, when two drivers are involved in an auto accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance pays for damages sustained in the accident. However, if you have the right coverage, you can also claim certain damages from your own insurance company. The two types of policy add-ons that can cover you in an accident are MedPay and personal injury protection. In most states, these coverages are optional, although a handful of states require them. These coverages apply regardless of who is at fault for the accident.

MedPay

MedPay is also known as medical payments coverage. It is designed to cover the health expenses that you incur right after your accident. Therefore, you can only make claims during the first year thereafter. MedPay covers funeral expenses in addition to costs of medical care. However, it does not cover all treatments, nor does it cover non-medical expenses. On the other hand, there is no copay or deductible. It also covers you if you get hit by a car as a pedestrian or a bicyclist.

If you do not have health insurance, MedPay can be your primary coverage. Otherwise, it can be supplemental to your existing health insurance policy. In other words, if there are medical expenses that your health insurance doesn’t cover, MedPay can fill in the gaps. MedPay covers vehicle passengers as well as owners and all authorized drivers. An auto accident lawyer could fill you in on more details if needed regarding MedPay.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection is similar to MedPay in many respects. However, it provides more comprehensive coverage. In addition to medical and funeral expenses, PIP also covers lost wages up to 80% and possibly other non-medical expenses. PIP covers treatments that MedPay does not, such as chiropractic care. PIP also provides coverage for a longer duration; you can continue to make claims for up to three years following the accident, and PIP coverage will pay as long as those claims are reasonable and related to your accident.

However, there is also a downside to personal injury protection. Unlike MedPay, deductibles and copays apply with PIP coverage. This means that you have to pay at least a portion of your expenses out of your own pocket. Certain health insurance policies do not cover car-related injuries; PIP coverage is therefore written specifically with such accidents in mind.

PIP coverage is required in no-fault or non-tort states in which the law doesn’t take into account who is responsible for the accident. MedPay is only required in two states. In most cases, these coverages are still available in other states. However, if you do not have either coverage, you need to collect damages from the other driver’s insurance, and an auto accident lawyer may be able to help.