The worst words a lawyer can hear from a client? How about “I just got the cheapest insurance I could buy”?
No one plans to be in an accident. We all have liability insurance on our cars that covers the other drivers on the road. It is additional coverages that raise important questions:
“What am I getting?” “Is it worth it?”
When you buy your insurance, you should be thinking of the things that can happen to you if you are injured—especially if you are traveling I-49 or 540 between Fayetteville, Bentonville, or Rogers in Northwest Arkansas. We all know how bad traffic in and around Benton and Washington Counties can be. One wreck can make the injured driver regret their decision to reject or not increase the medical coverage through his or her car insurance.
Medical Payments or “MedPay” will cover medical bills for you up to the amount you have selected in your car insurance policy. In Arkansas, the minimum you can have in MedPay is $5,000. That type of coverage typically costs less than $20.00 a year.
Why is this so important?
People in car wrecks often believe they don’t need MedPay or personal injury protection on their policy because they have health insurance. They want to try to save costs on car insurance, and it seems redundant to pay for additional medical payment coverage through their auto policy. But even if you have health insurance, you also have a deductible, and deductibles are getting higher every year. Plus, health insurance often only covers 80% or less of the total bill.
If the other driver has quality insurance:
Even if the other driver has insurance, your bills are not going to be paid until you are completely done with your medical treatment. In the meantime, you are going to have cover your own health insurance deductible and 20% of the medical bills. That is where your MedPay can help.
If the other driver has minimum insurance:
All too often, even if the other driver does have insurance, it is very likely the minimum policy required, which in Arkansas is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Why does that matter? Well, policy limits can be reached quickly when there passengers and/or multiple cars involved. Your MedPay coverage can be used to ensure you get the most for your injuries.
If the other driver has no insurance:
If the person that hit you does not have insurance, then you will be making a claim on your own policy for underinsured or uninsured driver, but only if you have elected to get that coverage. Even if you did select underinsured or uninsured driver coverage, it still can take months before you get any money. During that time, MedPay will bridge the gap to ensure you aren’t being turned over to a collections agency.
If you’re injured in someone else’s car:
Importantly, MedPay follows you, not your car. This is true whether you are injured when you are a passenger in a friend’s car, at fault, in a different state, in an uber, or walking through a cross walk. In all of these situations you can use your MedPay to cover medical expenses up to your policy limit.
Our firm has seen many injured drivers and passengers who were not at fault for an accident become financially strained because they decided not to add this inexpensive coverage. It makes an already unpleasant situation worse and takes focus away from recovering.