• Your Auto Policy’s Medical Payments Coverage (Med-Pay)
  • April 17, 2013 | Author: Nathan C. Cooley
  • Law Firm: The Law Office of Nathan C. Cooley, PLC - Mesa Office
  • When consumers think of their auto insurance policy, they usually think of the policy’s third-party bodily injury liability limits or property damage coverage.  This coverage under an auto policy is what protects you if you cause an accident and another person is injured or their car is damaged.  In Arizona, the minimum bodily injury coverage a driver is required to have is $15,000/$30,000/$10,000.  These amounts mean the following:
    • $15,000 - bodily injury liability coverage for any third person per accident
    • $30,000 - combined bodily injury liability coverage for all third parties for any one accident
    • $10,000 - third-party property damage coverage

    However, in addition to third-party bodily injury and property damage liability limits, MEDICAL PAYMENTS COVERAGE is a hugely overlooked area of auto insurance.

    WHAT IS MED-PAY COVERAGE?

    Med-Pay coverage will typically pay or reimburse you for reasonable expenses incurred for certain necessary medical services or treatment so long as the medical treatment was the result of a bodily injury sustained because of an auto accident.  Additionally, Med-Pay coverage will also pay funeral services.

    Typically, Med-Pay will only pay or reimburse for treatments that are recognized in the medical profession.  Med-Pay will not pay or reimburse for speculative or experimental treatments.  Also, Med-Pay will only pay or reimburse for already incurred medical costs.  Med-Pay does not pay for future medical treatment (though an at-fault driver’s bodily injury coverage will of course pay for future medical treatment).

    In order to benefit from an auto policy’s Med-Pay coverage, you must be a listed insured under the policy.  Typically, an insured under an auto policy will be any of the following

    1. the named insured under the policy (usually the person who owns the vehicle that is insured);
    2. the named insured’s spouse;
    3. any resident family member to the named insured; or
    4. any one using the vehicle covered under the named insured’s policy.

    MAXIMIZE YOUR RECOVERY

    What most people do not realize is that Med-Pay is a great way to maximize your recovery.  For example, let’s say you are involved in a collision that was caused by another driver.  Let’s assume that the other driver’s insurer has accepted liability.  As a result of the collision, you have incurred $5,000 in medical expenses of which you paid a $1,000 deductible while $4,000 was paid by your health insurer.

    In this simplified scenario, you will, at a minimum, be able to recover the full amount of your billed medical costs ($5,000) PLUS you may, through your Med-Pay coverage, be able to get reimbursement for all of your medical expenses.  In a way, Med-Pay is sort of like double recovery.