Male driver inspects damage to his car after an accident.

What Is Medical Payments Coverage?

Medical Payments Coverage—sometimes called MedPay, Medical Expense Coverage, or Medical Payments Insurance—is a type of auto insurance that helps reimburse the cost of medical bills resulting from injury in a car accident. It’s a form of no-fault insurance, meaning it’ll help cover medical bills regardless of whether you or another driver caused the accident.

Medical Payments Coverage can be added to auto insurance. It’s optional in most places, but it could be important if your finances can’t support sudden medical costs, or you frequently drive with passengers.

What does Medical Payments Coverage cover?

MedPay protects you as a driver, of course, but it’s coverage can also extend to your passengers and your family members.

  • Medical expenses: This includes hospital bills, surgery costs, doctor visits and medical treatments. It can even cover emergency dental care.

  • Ambulance fees: Getting a ride to the hospital can be expensive, and MedPay can help.

  • Injuries as a pedestrian or cyclist: This is one that surprises people; Medical Payments Coverage can cover your injuries if a car hits you while you’re on foot or on a bicycle. This can also extend to your family members.

  • Passengers’ medical expenses: MedPay's coverage can extend to passengers in your car at the time of an accident, be they family or otherwise.

Medical Payments Insurance can greatly protect you, your family, and other passengers. But if you want to extend the coverage even further, you can purchase Bodily Injury Liability, which covers the medical expenses of the other party in an accident you caused. This can help shield you and your family from costly legal fees.

Difference between Medical Payments Coverage and Personal Injury Protection

Both Medical Payments Coverage and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) help reimburse medical bills if you, your family or passengers require medical treatment after a car accident, regardless of who caused the accident. In that respect, they’re the same.

But they do have distinct differences. According to Insurance.com1:

  • Both PIP and MedPay are no-fault coverages that pay medical bills, and some other costs as well, after an accident.

  • PIP and MedPay coverage are optional in most states, but a few require one or both.

  • MedPay provides a small amount of coverage for injuries to you, your passengers and household members. PIP coverage limits are higher and extend to things like funeral costs.

How much Medical Payments Coverage do I need?

As with any insurance coverage, there are a few things to consider when determining how much MedPay coverage you need.

First, consider your financial situation. Determine what your budget allows, and as you compare Medical Payments Coverage policies, pay attention to each policy’s coverage limits:

  • Per-person coverage limits: The maximum your insurance provider will pay for each covered person involved in the accident.

  • Per-accident coverage limits: The maximum amount your provider will pay for all medical expenses resulting from a single accident.

You’ll also need to know whether you live in a fault or no-fault state:

  • At-fault state: The driver responsible for the accident is responsible for all damages.

  • No-fault state: After an accident, each driver’s own insurance company pays for damages; fault does not matter.

If you live in a no-fault state, you’re required to carry Personal Injury Protection which is more comprehensive than MedPay; you might be overpaying if you add MedPay to your coverage. Alternatively, Medical Payments Coverage is a smart choice if you’re in an at-fault state.

Ultimately, if you’re considering adding Medical Payments Coverage to your auto insurance, talk to your insurance agent today—they can help you determine how much coverage you need and answer your questions.


Updated 6-20-24

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