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georgia automobile insurance law

What Type of Automobile Insurance Should I Buy? - Part Three | The Macon Injury Law Blog

georgia automobile insurance law

What Type of Automobile Insurance Should I Buy? Part Three (Medical Payments Coverage)

April 21st, 2012

This will be a short post because I do not have much to say about medical payments (or Med Pay) coverage not because it is unimportant, but because you either need it or you don, in my opinion.  I would say most people should carry some level of Med Pay, if for no other reason, to provide coverage for other passengers who may be riding in your insured vehicle when a collision occurs.  Folks who consider themselves elf-insured probably do not need this insurance.  However, as you will see, the coverage is so cheap that most everyone will find it beneficial to purchase some level of Med Pay coverage.

Med Pay coverage is typically sold at the following levels in Georgia:  $1,000, $2,000, $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, and $50,000.  Med Pay coverage is used to pay for medical bills or funeral expenses an insured person incurs as a result of a collision.

Georgia law states, Medical payments coverage includes any coverage in which the insurer agrees to reimburse the insured and others for reasonable and necessary medical expenses and funeral expenses incurred as a result of bodily injury or death caused by a motor vehicle accident, without regard to the insured liability for the accident.  O.C.G.A. § 33-34-2(1).  So, in theory, if you are involved in a wreck while riding in a covered vehicle, regardless of whose fault the wreck was, you should receive coverage for reasonable and necessary medical expenses, up to the limits of the Med Pay coverage.  In my experience, insurers do not fight claims for Med Pay payments as often as they do for claims under other types of auto insurance coverage.

So, who is an insured person for purposes of Med Pay coverage?  The Georgia Legislature has also defined this for us:  Coverage shall be available to the named insured, resident spouse, and any resident relative while occupying the covered vehicle. and to any other person legally occupying a covered motor vehicle.  O.C.G.A. § 33-34-2(1). Note that an insured person must be occupying a covered vehicle in order for the coverage to apply.  In other words, if you buy Med Pay coverage for your 2007 Honda Accord, but you are injured while riding as a passenger in your friend 2005 Chevy Tahoe, your Med Pay coverage you bought for your 2007 Honda Accord will not be applicable.  In that scenario, you should hope your friend has Med Pay coverage for his 2005 Chevy Tahoe which will cover you as a passenger.

Med Pay coverage is typically cheap to buy, in comparison to the benefit it provides. For example, my wife and I have Med Pay coverage of $1,000 for each of our two insured vehicles.  It costs us approximately $13 every six months, per vehicle, to carry this coverage.  Honestly, it is so cheap that we should probably carry more of it (and I will probably add additional coverage next time I speak with my agent, because my personal health insurance deductible has gone up quite a bit).  If you have a high personal health insurance deductible or, heaven forbid, no personal health insurance coverage, Med Pay coverage is also very useful.  If you have a high health insurance deductible, you should definitely consider purchasing enough Med Pay coverage to satisfy your deductible in the event you incur significant medical bills following a car wreck.  If you have no personal health insurance coverage, you should probably consider purchasing a higher level of Med Pay coverage to protect yourself (and those riding in your vehicle) against medical expenses incurred as a result of a serious car wreck.

Are there any limits to Med Pay coverage?  Georgia law also states, Expenses must be incurred for services rendered within three years from the date of the accident provided, however, that nothing shall prevent an insurer from allowing a longer period of time.  O.C.G.A. § 33-34-2(1).  So, the insurer can state in your actual insurance policy that the Med Pay coverage will cover any reasonable and necessary expenses, related to your collision, for medical treatment incurred within three years of the date of the collision.  They can make this period longer, such as for four years, but cannot make it smaller, such as for only two years.

Overall, Med Pay coverage is cheap coverage that can provide a great benefit to you if you rack up significant medical bills following an auto collision.

georgia automobile insurance law

What Type of Automobile Insurance Should I Buy? - Part Three | The Macon Injury Law Blog

health and medical INSURANCE quote - 18 November 2013 - insurance


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