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Medical Payments: What Are They?

 

Take a look at the Declarations Page of your auto policy.  Or your homeowners policy.  Or (if you own or run a business) your commercial general liability policy.  Chances are you'll find a dollar amount--generally much, much smaller than your liability limits--for Medical Payments.

 

So what are Medical Payments?

 

Think of Med Pay as a kind of No Fault layer of protection on your policy.  Let's say you and a friend are on your way to a sporting event, with you driving your car.  It's a cold, icy day, and you're driving carefully, within the speed limit. . .but you still hit a patch of black ice, lose control of your vehicle, and careen into a ditch.  Your friend is banged up as a result, and you call an ambulance just to be on the safe side to get him to the nearest ER and get checked out.  In this case, the Medical Payments portion of your auto policy would be triggered, and your insurance carrier would pay for your friend's treatment (up to the limits on the Medical Payments portion of the policy)--even though you the insured were not negligent.

 

The same could be applied to an auto accident with another vehicle where neither driver was at fault--or both drivers contributed to the accident.  Any subsequent injuries could be paid out of the Medical Payments limits before any Liability limits are tapped.

 

Here's another example.  You own a business, and a customer comes into your office and trips over the leg of a chair in front of a desk and falls.  The customer complains of back pain, so you phone an ambulance to transport her to the hospital for medical treatment.  The chair wasn't placed in a high traffic area to indicate negligence on your part, so think of your Medical Payments limits as a goodwill gesture to pay for injuries that occurr on your premises.  Med Pay is a great enhancement to have on any liability policy, and as a general rule it's not expensive.  So if you don't have Medical Payments on your policy be sure to ask for them! 

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