Should You Include Med-Pay Coverage in Your Insurance Policy?
Medical payments (med-pay) coverage pays for a car accident victim’s medical treatment as medical bills are incurred regardless of who was at fault, and sometimes without reducing the total amount recovered from the at-fault insurance company.
Med-pay must be included in every auto insurance policy offered in Colorado unless the insured specifically rejects it in writing. Whenever the law requires insurance companies to include a specific coverage, a person should think very carefully before waiving it. Med-pay is no exception.
Most auto insurance policies in Colorado include med-pay coverage of at least $5,000. Med-pay coverage pays regardless of liability. That means it doesn’t matter who was at fault. That is important because a person injured in a car accident that was the other driver’s fault can receive med-pay benefits from their own policy. Because this is a benefit separately contracted and paid for by the injured party, this type of med-pay benefit (1st party) does not reduce the amount the injured person recovers from the at-fault insurance company. It’s essentially none of their business, and the at-fault party is not entitled to benefit from this extra coverage that is part of the injured party’s own policy. The injured party is.
Med-pay tends to pay as your medical bills are incurred, unlike liability coverage which pays the bodily injury portion of your settlement or verdict all at once at the end of your case.
Med-pay can be used to pay for needed medical treatment including ambulance rides, emergency room care, chiropractic, etc. Because it tends to pay as bills are incurred rather than at the end of a case, it can help those who are injured obtain care they otherwise might have to pay out of pocket for, even if they otherwise hope to be reimbursed later.
Finally, med-pay coverage tends to be very inexpensive relative to other coverages included in most auto insurance policies. Although med-pay minimums in Colorado require $5,000 in med-pay coverage, doubling that amount, or even tripling it, tends to cost so little as to go unnoticed by most people. I recommend verifying med-pay coverage exists on your own auto policy, and considering increasing the coverage if the price is negligible. The benefit immediately after an accident can make a big difference to an injured person’s ability to obtain the treatment they need without immediately having to pay out of pocket.