Keeping your passengers safe is one of the most important responsibilities of driving a car. While you may drive extra carefully for their sake, accidents aren’t always avoidable, so it is important to have the right coverage so they can get the care they need after an accident. However, many drivers make the mistake of thinking that basic liability insurance will cover their passengers. This unfortunately isn’t the case.
If you choose only to have your state’s minimum required amount of insurance on your vehicle, be aware that your passengers’ injuries may not be covered. Bodily injury and property damage coverage under your liability insurance is only designed to cover those outside the vehicle, such as other drivers, their passengers and pedestrians.
To cover your passengers and your own injuries, you will need a type of medical payments coverage.
Medical Payments vs Personal Injury Protection
The two types of medical payments you may receive on your car insurance policy are medical payments coverage or personal injury protection. Both of these coverages provide compensation for you and your passengers’ injuries after an accident, regardless of who caused the accident. There is one distinct difference between these coverages, however. Personal injury protection offers extended coverage, as it can also recover lost wages and other health costs related to accident injury. Medical payments coverage, on the other hand, only covers related medical bills.
Personal injury protection is required in some states while not even available in others. Be sure to check your state’s auto insurance requirements. Even if you are not legally required to carry medical payments coverage or personal injury protection, these coverages are recommended for keeping your passengers safe. This type of insurance can help make sure they get compensation for medical care they need to recover after an accident, no matter who caused the accident. It is not wise to rely on another driver’s insurance to cover your passenger’s medical bills, as not all drivers carry the proper amount of insurance. To cover damages and injuries that occur in an accident with a driver who is not carrying insurance, you will need uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Be sure to speak with your car insurance agent if you have any questions about your auto insurance policy. It is crucial to make sure that you have the right amount of insurance to protect yourself and your passengers in the event of an accident.