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What is Auto Insurance Medical Payment Coverage?

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Auto insurance contains numerous coverage provisions, from liability insurance to comprehensive or collision coverage. However, one of the most important features of any policy is whether you can expect to be compensated in case of an injury. It may surprise you to learn that some policies don't offer such perks standard. Thankfully there are some easy ways to protect yourself and your health when you shop for auto insurance.

What is Auto Insurance Medical Payment Coverage?

Auto insurance medical payment coverage, also called personal injury protection or PIP, means precisely what it sounds like: your insurer will cover medical costs including hospital costs and continuing care associated with a motor vehicle related accident. The policy covers medical bills or funeral expenses. The percent of expenses you can expect to be paid on claims and the limits of your coverage depends on the policy you hold, so it's essential to read the fine print when you sign up.

Medical insurance coverage is not automatically included in a traditional care insurance policy. Required liability coverage will pay medical costs for a victim of an accident if you injure someone else. However, if you injure yourself in an accident that you cause, you are generally on your own as far as medical bills and payments. Even comprehensive or collision insurance will not pay your medical bills. By purchasing auto insurance medical payment coverage, you shift the risk of your medical costs to your insurer.

Who Is Covered?

Auto insurance medical payment coverage will pay medical bills for:

  • The insured
  • Relatives living in the same household as the insured
  • Any authorized person driving the insured's vehicle
  • Passengers

In most cases the insured, or family members living in the same house as the insured, will also be covered if they are injured as passengers in someone else's vehicle if the driver of that vehicle is not sufficiently insured to pay medical expenses.

Who Should Purchase Auto Insurance Medical Payment Coverage?

This type of coverage is especially appropriate for people who have no medical insurance or who have limited medical insurance. While a person with comprehensive health insurance will likely have their medical bills covered by their health insurance provider, the underinsured may be dependent on auto insurance medical payment coverage, or else may have to pay their expenses out of pocket. Thus, any driver, especially those who are not insured, must be able to answer what is auto insurance medical payment coverage in order to determine if the coverage is right for you.

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