It never fails, when we get our auto insurance renewals our first question is usually: why did my rate go up? The second: what can I do to lower my rate?
Unfortunately we are in a climate of ever increasing auto insurance rates so we receive these kinds of calls daily. These two questions are absolutely legitimate and we want to do our best to help consumers have great coverage at an affordable rate. The first thing many consumers and some agents look to do is cut out coverages they feel they may not need. While it’s okay to maybe take off your roadside assistance coverage or your full glass coverage, it is definitely not a good idea to take off important coverages such as uninsured motorist or medical payments coverage (aka: Med Pay coverage).
Which brings me to my next point: don’t ever reject medical payments coverage!
Before we get to the why, let’s quickly review what medical payments coverages is. Medical payments coverage is coverage that pays for your medical expenses or your passenger’s medical expenses after you are hurt in a car accident. Med Pay coverage will pay for medical expenses regardless of fault.
So this leads me to my point of why this coverage is so important. If you are injured in a car accident who is going to pay for your medical expenses (i.e. your ambulance ride, emergency room visit, ER x-rays, etc.) if you rejected medical payments coverage? Most people would respond with: my health insurance company. Well, the bad news about that answer is that your health insurance doesn’t have to pay for your medical bills related to a car accident. It is their choice to do so. So if your health insurance company says “no”, who pays for it now? you! If you had medical payments coverage this wouldn’t be an issue. You could start a claim and your auto insurance company would start paying the bills as they are submitted. You don’t have to worry about convincing your health insurance company to pay. Or worry about the potential risk of paying expensive bills out of your own pocket. Additionally, what many consumers don’t know is that many states have legislation in place that even in an accident where the other driver is at fault, you still have to file for Med Pay coverage for your medical expenses on your own auto policy first before the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays.
The good news is that Med Pay coverage is fairly inexpensive. I know we all think “that won’t happen to me” or “I’m too careful, I won’t get in an accident”, but unfortunately I have seen time and time again people who are in accidents they weren’t expecting and didn’t have the coverage they needed.
So if you take anything away from this post let it be this: don’t reject medical payments coverage and don’t follow the advice of an agent who tells you to do so. We all hope “it never happens to us”, but if it does know you have some peace of mind that you will be taken care of because you chose to spend an extra $5 a month on a necessary coverage.