What’s the difference between Bodily Injury Coverage and Med Pay?
When reviewing policy coverage, one of the most common questions is: What is the difference between liability coverage and medical payments coverage?
Medical Payments Coverage – Confusion
Medical payments coverage is often misunderstood to be the maximum amount a company will pay out for a medical claim. Why you would need medical payments coverage if you have liability coverage? Let’s take a look at this topic more closely.
Liability Coverage in General
Liability coverage is designed to cover you against bodily injury and property damage that you cause to others as a result of your negligence.
Bodily Injury Coverage
Bodily Injury liability insurance is coverage against you being at-fault in an auto accident in which there is bodily injury to another party, most often in another car. Auto liability coverage is required by law in Ohio.
However, your auto liability coverage will not pay for your or your passengers’ medical bills after a car accident. If you cause a car accident, the bodily injury liability portion of your car insurance coverage helps pay for the other party’s medical expenses. Likewise, if another driver is at fault for an accident that injures you, their auto liability coverage may help pay for your medical bills.
Medical Payments (Med Pay) – For You
Medical payments coverage (Med Pay), on the other hand, is a coverage designed to cover the medical expense of individuals within your own car, when you cause the accident.
Medical payments coverage is optional. So, if you cause a car accident and don’t have medical payments coverage, you would have to pay out of your own pocket for your own medical bills. Medical payments coverage generally pays for medical costs after you are hurt in a car accident, regardless of who is found at fault for the accident.
Additionally, medical payments insurance may help pay for:
Injuries sustained by your passengers;
Injuries you sustain as a pedestrian or bicyclist after a car hits you; and
Necessary dental care as a result of a car accident.
No-Fault vs. At-Fault Coverage
If you caused the accident, for whatever reason, and hurt someone or damaged their car, your auto liability insurance “responds” by paying the insurance claim.
You would be considered “at-fault” for the accident.
Medical Payments coverage, on the other hand, is a “no-fault” coverage. This means “negligence” does not need to be proven – the injured party gets their money without having to go to court.
Note that medical payments coverage does not protect you against “no-fault” property damage. Only bodily injury liability is covered here.
How Much Coverage Can You Get?
While you can choose your “limits” for both liability and medical payments coverage, the available liability coverage limits are usually much higher than medical payments, as the insurance company doesn’t get a chance to defend themselves in court if a claim is made for damages. You may be offered a maximum of $10,000 in medical payments coverage, whereas liability limits can reach into the millions. The lower available limits dictate that medical payments coverage is designed for minor injuries.