Marissa Hayes

Insurance Writer & Expert

Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

Insurance Writer & Expert

Daniel Walker

Licensed Insurance Agent

Daniel Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has run his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for over 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an insurance agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, life, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. To ensure our content is accura...

Licensed Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Dec 4, 2023

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Medical payments coverage is a type of car insurance policy that covers the bodily injury and medical expenses incurred in a collision. Most standard, basic insurance policies include only liability coverage. This covers other people that you would be responsible for if you caused a car accident, but it does not provide any compensation for you, or anyone in your vehicle. Therefore, other types of insurance were created to help protect the driver – such as collision and comprehensive insurance. However, those two types of insurance are only good for covering property damages, not medical expenses or work loss.

This is where a coverage like medical payments comes in handy. Medical payments covers the driver and all their passengers, regardless of who is listed on the insurance policy. It pays for the injuries and medical bills associated with the accident. It’s purpose is to protect and take care of the insured and their loved ones.

What is covered with a medical payments policy add-on?

Medical payments coverage is good to have because it not only covers you, and your medical expenses, but also the medical treatment for any passengers that were in your car at the time of the accident. Whereas some types of insurance, like liability, will cover expenses only for the individuals you are responsible for if you cause an accident (typically the people in the other vehicle), medical payments coverage is meant to protect you and yours.

This type of coverage pays for your standard medical expenses: doctor’s visits, hospital stays, emergency transportation, x-rays, medication, dental work, specialty services like chiropractors, and even funeral costs. It may also make up for lost wages and pain/suffering compensation. It covers you as a pedestrian or cyclist as well. You don’t have to be in your vehicle to receive coverage, simply be injured in a traffic accident to trigger the benefits.

The best part of medical payments coverage is that it works regardless of who is at fault in the accident.

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Do I need medical payments coverage if I have a decent health insurance policy?

Medical payments coverage is great, and more affordable, than the standard health insurance policy. Unfortunately, it only covers medical expenses occurred in a traffic accident. Therefore, having health insurance is still vital to protect you and your loved ones.

But, does having health insurance mean that you do not need medical payments coverage on your auto insurance policy? Health insurance often has high deductibles and specific restrictions. Many individuals must pay out of pocket until their deductible has been met or if they need some type of specialized services that aren’t included in their health insurance policy.

Medical payments coverage will protect you and your passengers without a deductible and to treat any injury that happened during the course of the collision. This added insurance can be a lifesaver, especially since it is one of the most affordable types of car insurance costing drivers just a few dollars a month to add on to their policies.

Do I have to buy medical payments coverage?

There are some states that require drivers to purchase medical payments coverage as part of their car insurance policy. Some of the mandated states will allow drivers to opt out of the coverage in writing if they feel like it is an unnecessary expense.

However, on the flip side, there are states that do not allow this type of insurance coverage so you may be out of luck if you are seeking to purchase medical payments coverage in one of these states.

How much medical payments coverage do I need?

As with any type of car insurance, the higher the limit you purchase the more coverage you will have. If you only purchase $5,000 in medical payments coverage, your policy will only pay out up to $5,000 per person, per accident. If the medical expenses exceed $5,000, you will be back to paying out of pocket for medical costs.

The good news is that medical payments coverage is so affordable! It is one of the best insurance deals on the market. Drivers can easily get up to $100,000 in coverage for less than $20 a month.

First, you will need to do some research on what is required in your state regarding health insurance. This will make sure that you at least purchased the minimum regarding if you are in a state that makes medical payment coverage mandatory. Then call your insurance provider  or compare car insurance online to see how much you can afford. You may be surprised about how inexpensive a great medical payment policy can be.