Auto Insurance

Should You Buy Health Benefits with Car Insurance?

PIP, MedPay? These are health benefits that come along car insurance. Find out if they are necessary or not.

If you are unfamiliar with car insurance, then you may not know there are parts called personal injury protection and MedPay. Both coverages compensate drivers for any medical expenses you incur due to a car accident. They are essentially health insurance you buy through your car insurance company.

If you have an actual health insurance policy, you may question why you would need those protections. After all, if you are injured, you can just use your health insurance. Before brushing off PIP or MedPay though, you should know there are some key differences and benefits of those two coverages you won’t get with a health plan.

Fail-Safes If Your Health Insurance Company Denies You

There are many types of health insurance plans. Depending on your company, there is always a possibility they will deny your claim because it happened in a car crash. You are not expected to scour every detail of your policy, so there may very well be certain provisions that prohibit you for filing a claim due to an accident. The good thing about PIP or MedPay is that you just have to file a claim through your car insurer to be quickly reimbursed and able to start paying medical bills right away. PIP and MedPay don't require you to prove that the other driver was at-fault for the accident; regardless, you will see compensation for your injuries. Without the coverage, you would be forced to pay out of pocket if your health insurer denies your claim.

Covers Passengers' Injuries

If you are driving with passengers, and they get injured, your health insurance won’t cover them (unless they are on your plan). In an accident in which you were the driver with many passengers and lots of damage, passengers may be looking toward you to pay their bills. If you have low insurance limits, you may not be able to satisfy them all. With PIP or MedPay however, that coverage extends to your passengers, giving you several extra thousand dollars to help take care of their injuries. If you frequently find yourself in the car with passengers, it may be well worth to add one of these coverages to your policy.

Pays for Lost Wages Due to Injury

If you suffer a debilitating injury due to a car crash, then you will most likely have to miss some time from work. Any work absence can be a financial strain; luckily PIP (not MedPay) has a work loss addition, which will help pay for lost wages, up to a certain amount per your policy. Work lost is usually not a part of a health insurance plan, and would need to be purchased in a separate Disability Insurance.

Will Pay for Any Funeral Costs

A somber thought, yet a sometimes-necessary one. The average funeral costs anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000. In the regrettable situation in which a loved one dies in a car accident, PIP or MedPay would pay for the funeral costs. An ordinary health insurance plan will not do the same. Without those two insurances, you would be forced to pay for the funeral out of pocket.

Final Thoughts

Even though in most states you are not required to carry PIP or MedPay, you should strongly consider adding it to your policy. Several thousand dollars worth of coverage can be tacked on for another $100 to $200 per year. If you can afford that, it may be well worth the comfort of knowing you have that much extra protection.

Mark Fitzpatrick

Mark Fitzpatrick is a Research Analyst at ValuePenguin focused on the insurance industry. He previously worked in Country Risk Management at State Street Corporation.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.