When you’re seriously injured in a car accident, one of the first questions that comes to mind is “who’s going to pay for my medical bills?” If you’re like many people, you may have very little idea of what exactly is covered under your auto insurance policy and what’s not covered.
We all know that we have to purchase LIABILITY insurance because liability insurance is mandatory under Connecticut law. This is the coverage that insures us for other drivers’ injuries that may be the result of an accident that you’ve caused. But, many drivers forget about themselves and what their auto insurance policies can do for them.
Medical Payments Coverage
Other than collision insurance, which is extremely important, a very valuable coverage that’s available for purchase at an extraordinarily low cost is Medical Payments Coverage. Although medical payments coverage isn’t mandatory under Connecticut law, it should be.
Medical Payments Coverage is available at various levels; you might elect only $1,000.00, but you can pay a premium for $5,000.00, $25,000.00 and more. This coverage will immediately pay your health care expenses caused by a car accident.
When purchasing medical payments coverage you should consider the following:
- Will the amount that I purchase be enough to cover all or most of my healthcare expenses if I am in a moderate accident?
- Will the amount that I purchase be enough to cover all or most of my healthcare expenses if I suffer extensive injuries?
- Do I have SECONDARY INSURANCE that will cover the remainder of my healthcare expenses after my medical payments coverage is paid out?
- Do I have secondary health insurance that will cover me if I choose to not purchase medical payments coverage?
Why Do I Need Medical Payments Coverage?
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering, “Why do I need medical payments or health insurance if someone else causes the accident?” Shouldn’t the other party’s insurance cover me? The answer is “yes”, but in Connecticut, that “yes” isn’t immediate.
Unless the liable driver has elected to pay the extra premium for medical payments coverage, his auto insurer won’t be paying anything for your healthcare expenses until your case is settled or until after a jury verdict if your case goes to trial. In other words, your bills won’t be paid as you receive them; they’ll be paid in a lump sum at the end of your claim.
Of course, the problem with this set-up is that your bills may be lingering for a year or even longer depending upon the extent and length of your treatment. This delay may result in your bills being sent to collection and damage to your credit history.
This is why medical payments coverage is so important, even if you have secondary health insurance.
When it comes to insurance, you have to consider the bottom line and evaluate the cost of medical payments coverage compared to the value received.
There’s no doubt that medical payments coverage is a great and important value that’s available under your auto insurance policy and one that more people should take advantage of. If you still have questions don’t hesitate to contact us.
Attorney Matthew Maddox has offices in New Canaan. His blog appears on his law firm website and is available by email.