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Laura Berry

Former Insurance Agent

Former Insurance Agent

Joshua Adamson

Joshua is a copywriter at Obrella who for more than 10 years has been creating content about insurance, health care, and more. He helps companies explain complex insurance subjects in simple ways so that customers can make smart buying decisions. He spends way too much time binge-watching Netflix, loves the outdoors and has a cat who tolerates him.

UPDATED: Dec 11, 2023

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Does Car Insurance Cover Hospital Bills?

Most car accidents and fender benders are minor and don't cause serious injury to drivers or their passengers. Depending on the accident, an ambulance and other emergency vehicles may still respond to the scene. Even if you initially feel fine, some injuries (like whiplash) can also take time to set in. It's not uncommon for people in a car accident to seek medical treatment days later.  Of course, the sooner you report the accident, the better for records purposes. This is regardless of who was at fault in the accident. After an accident, car insurance may step in to pay any related medical expenses. This could include the ambulance ride after the accident and any ensuing medical bills. However, not all types of insurance cover all injuries involved in a car accident.

What Does Liability Insurance Cover?

Liability insurance covers only the other driver when you are at fault in an accident, comes in two forms. Property damage liability covers any damage to the other driver’s vehicle, while bodily injury liability covers the other driver’s medical bills, not yours. Both types of coverage have limits, or maximum payouts from your provider, after which you would be financially responsible.

Within bodily liability injury are two limits: limit per person injured and limit per accident, and these limits dictate how much the insurance company covers for medical bills after an accident.

For example, say your bodily injury liability limit per person is $50,000 and your bodily injury liability limit per accident is $100,000. You are at fault for a crash with three injured people, and each has medical bills that cost about $40,000 each for a total of $120,000. You would technically be covered for those people individually, as they are each under the $50,000 limit per person. But altogether, your insurance would only cover $100,000 of the $120,000 worth of medical bills, as that is your limit per accident. You would be responsible for the other $20,000.

The important thing to remember is liability coverage only covers the other driver if you’re at fault. If you want to stick with the state minimum in coverage, you should also look into PIP (personal injury protection) for your own medical expenses.

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What Type of Insurance Offers Medical Payments Coverage for You?

PIP is available in many states to cover your medical bills. Typically, it goes up to about $10,000 after an accident. Of course, as you may have realized, $10,000 doesn’t go quite as far as you’d hope for serious injuries, especially in the emergency room.

Medical payments coverage also covers you and the other driver regardless of who is at fault for the accident. However, this type of coverage is more limited and only covers medical costs and funeral expenses. Living in a no-fault state means that you can purchase medical payments coverage to supplement your standard coverage in case your personal injury protection can’t cover all injury-related costs.

If you purchase only liability coverage, be prepared to assume the risk of covering your own injuries if you are at fault in an accident. Also, look into the minimum required limits of your state and the higher liability limits available. Though the higher limits may cost more per month, if you exceed any limits, you have to pay for the rest of the other driver?s and passengers’ injuries as well as your own. In these cases, it may benefit you to choose a liability policy with a higher limit or one of the no-fault coverage options.

Choosing between liability coverage and the no-fault coverage options is a big decision in terms of extra monthly costs and additional financial protection for you when you’re involved in an accident. If you need help making the decision, call us to answer your questions and help you pick the best coverage.

Doesn’t Health Insurance Cover Injuries?

Your health insurance company covers a wide range of injuries and illnesses. Some insurance companies will cover auto accident related injuries. It’s not unusual for a health insurance company to have an exclusion clause. So the exact same injury caused by a game of baseball would be covered, but not after an auto accident.

If you’re not sure, you can check your health insurance plan documents. Even if you have insurance policies that cover auto accident injuries now, that may not be true in the future. So it’s best to have at least some coverage on your auto policy for medical bills, funeral costs, etc.

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