When searching for ways to lower your car insurance, you may be tempted to drop Medical Payments Coverage from your policy. Colorado does not require drivers to carry this form of coverage. You would be mistaken, however, to write it off as unnecessary. In fact, the very limitations of most health insurance policies, combined with the slow pace of insurance settlements, argue strongly in favor of retaining, if not increasing, Medical Payments Coverage. In a nutshell, this type of insurance will pay for reasonable expenses incurred for necessary medical expenses of an insured following an accident. In Colorado, insurance companies typically issue Med Pay in amounts of $5,000.00, $10,000.00, and $25,000.00.
What is Medical Payments Coverage?
Pursuant to Colorado law, Medical Payments Coverage makes good on medical bills up to the coverage limit for their insured and other riding in the vehicle involved in an accident, regardless of who’s at fault. Further, Medical Payments Coverage moves with the insured (walking, biking, or riding with a friend) as well as with the vehicle, regardless of who is driving. This coverage applies in limited circumstances. First, you must have been injured in a motor vehicle accident. If you were struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, you can still tap into the coverage. Second, you must have incurred medical expenses. The insurance coverage does not pay for future medical expenses but reimburses you for medical expenses incurred following an accident. Moreover, Medical Payments Coverage does not apply to non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
The beauty of Medical Payments Coverage is it kicks in immediately to cover your medical bills, health insurance deductible, and co-pays. When an accident happens, it can take months, or even years, for a car insurance company to pay out on medical bills. Your health insurance may pay, but many of us carry high deductibles and co-pays that can stretch out finances to the breaking point before the settlement from the at-fault driver comes in. Medical Payments Coverage covers those bills and co-pays. It also covers out-of-pocket costs that your health insurance probably would not touch, including ambulance fees, chiropractic, massage, and even dental.
The premium is so small, often less than $20.00 per year, for up to $10,000.00 in coverage. Further, the use of this coverage will not increase your premiums. Your insurance premiums can only be increased if you have a chargeable offense. If there are multiple policies with Medical Payments Coverage available, you are entitled to collect up to the exact amount of the total medical expenses you incurred. You cannot submit the same bills for duplicate payments to more than one insurance company but can submit anything in excess to a secondary insurance company.
Medical Payments Coverage can be especially important for drivers without health insurance. But forget about using it as a stand-alone substitute. You must carry auto liability coverage in order to purchase this coverage, and you’d have to be injured in an auto-related accident to use it.
Our Lawyers Will Explain Medical Payments Coverage
If you have been involved in an auto accident, contact our attorneys today at 720.863.6904 or email us for your free consultation. Our lawyers handle a wide range of personal injury cases, including Motor Vehicle Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Pedestrian Accidents, Slip & Fall Accidents, and Dog Bites & Attacks. We service Arvada, Aurora, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Commerce City, Lakewood, Littleton, Thornton, Westminster, Wheat Ridge, and other parts of metropolitan Denver, Colorado.
Owner and Managing Attorney
Jerry Bowman, J.D., M.A., Owner and managing attorney of Bowman Law LLC, takes his responsibility to the legal profession seriously and dedicates his time and effort to providing quality and competent legal representation to clients in Denver and throughout all of Colorado. He holds an MA in Political Science from Wayne State University and earned his law degree in two and a half years from Michigan State University College of Law.