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How Auto Insurance Companies Handle Injuries To Passengers After Accidents

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

A car insurance customer may wonder how companies handle passengers’ injuries after accidents. Of course, the policyholder has multiple concerns following a car accident, including what may happen to the insured’s premiums. Rates may increase following a car accident if the driver of the insured vehicle was liable for the collision. Injuries to the driver and passengers of the insured vehicle are also factors.

There are two types of insurance that pay for passenger injuries: medical payments and bodily injury liability. Both types of insurance are unique and governed by separate rules. A consumer should consider their specific insurance requirements in conjunction with the role that each type of insurance plays in paying for medical treatments when deciding what to purchase as part of the car insurance policy.

Medical Payments

Medical Payments insurance usually goes by one of two names: Medpay or Personal Injury Protection (PIP). Medpay is most common in the thirty-eight states with tort laws regarding auto accidents. PIP insurance is mandatory in the twelve states and the District of Columbia that practice no fault insurance. If the policyholder and his passengers are covered by health care insurance, then Medical Payments insurance may be an unnecessary expense. However, if the insured or his passengers do not have health care insurance, then this may be a wise addition to the policy.

Medpay insurance pays for medical treatment within the insured vehicle for both driver and passengers. It pays regardless of fault and will cover medical treatment up to the policy limits. There may be a deductible that applies before the insurance will pay out.

PIP insurance also pays for medical treatment within the insured vehicle for both driver and passengers. It also pays regardless of fault and will cover medical treatment up to the policy limits. A deductible may apply. PIP differs from Medpay in that it covers a broader range of expenses that the insured driver and passengers may incur, including loss of income, pain and suffering.

Bodily Injury Liability

Bodily Injury Liability insurance pays for injuries to other people that result from the collision for which the insured driver is responsible. Bodily Injury Liability will not cover passenger injuries when the passenger is a resident relative of the policyholder. Bodily Injury Liability insurance exists to cover any legal expenses or judgments against the policyholder once liability has been established.

Following a car accident, auto insurance premiums are often the first thing on a customer’s mind. However, medical bills are expensive and mount quickly. A policyholder should be sure to add the proper protection to his car insurance policy in order to protect against the risk associated with passenger injuries.

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