Car Insurance and Your Health Insurance
Accidents happen, and sometimes your regular health insurance isn’t enough to cover the cost of personal injury. That’s where additional car insurance kicks in.
How Does Car Insurance Work with Health Insurance?
Medical car insurance coverages will help you pay for your injuries, whether or not you already hold health insurance. You’ll be able to supplement your healthcare coverage with these coverages so that you aren’t left paying for what your healthcare won’t cover.
In theory, you car insurance coverage should pay first. This means that once your limits are exhausted, you can begin tapping into your health insurance for additional costs.
Medical providers will likely perform necessary care services and then work with your auto insurance company to facilitate payment. Remember that you will be responsible for deductibles on any policies that you use.
Which Car Insurance Coverages Pay for Injuries?
Some car insurance companies offer coverage that help pay for medical expenses, too.
- Liability coverage.
- Personal injury protection.
- Medical payments coverage.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
In most states, liability coverage is the minimum coverage a person is required to hold.
That said, liability protection for medical coverage only applies if the other driver is at fault—meaning, the other driver’s liability coverage would pay for your injuries.
Your own liability coverage never pays for your own damages.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Generally, personal injury protection (PIP insurance), also known as “no-fault coverage,” is is only available in no-fault states. It is often required, but may be available as additional optional coverage.
PIP insurance pays for your injuries without regard to fault. So unlike liability coverage, which will only pay out damages to the other driver when you’re at fault, PIP will cover you even if you caused the accident.
PIP is a wise addition to your car insurance policy because it can take care of what your health insurance might not cover.
PIP, for example, can help you pay for:
- Personal injury expenses related to the accident, such as:
- Hospital and doctor’s bills.
- In-home services and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages, such as those due to a disability arising from the accident.
- Funeral expenses.
You can learn more about no-fault coverage and no-fault states on our PIP Insurance page.
Medical Payments Coverage
Similar to PIP, medical payments coverage kicks in when you exceed your regular health insurance limits.
In addition to medical costs and funeral expenses, medical payments coverage can also include the costs to:
- Your passengers.
- You, if you’re a passenger in someone else’s car.
- You, if you’re struck by a car while walking or cycling.
Learn more at our page on Medical Payments Insurance Coverage.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
As mentioned above, depending on another driver to carry enough insurance (or, in some cases, any insurance) is risky.
Adding uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to your car insurance policy financially protects you against motorists who don’t have enough—or any—coverage to pay for the personal injuries they’ve caused you.
Talk to your car insurance provider about whether these coverages would benefit you.
What Is Required?
Generally, only liability coverage is required, although some states require collision and comprehensive coverage if you’re leasing a vehicle or still have a loan on it.
As explained above, personal injury protection (PIP) is required in no-fault states, though some allow you to waive the coverage in writing.
Certain states may require other coverages, but for the most part all other types are considered optional. Take into account your health insurance coverage and how much protection you want or need before making a decision on additional car insurance coverages.
Deciding What You Need
You’ll need to consider how robust your current healthcare plan is. If you’ve got great healthcare coverage, you may choose to elect only a very low limit for your medical coverage. And vice versa.
Note that certain car insurance coverages will go beyond just medical bills. For examples, PIP insurance pays for lost wages due to accident-related injuries.
See “Which Coverages Pay for Injuries” above for more detailed information on each of these extra coverages.