A standard Rhode Island homeowners insurance policy may include Medical Payments coverage, more commonly called MedPay. However, like all parts of an insurance policy, it has limits, exclusions and restrictions and often works with other components in the policy to protect you in various ways.
What Does It Cover?
Basically, MedPay is meant to cover small claims for medical costs for a person injured on your property, whether you are to blame or not.
In some cases, a person may not want to sue. In other cases, it could help you avoid litigation by helping the injured person with their medical bills. Here are a few examples.
- Your neighbor comes over for coffee, slips and falls on your steps and hurts her back, but doesn’t want to sue you. She would just like help with her physiotherapy bills.
- Your dog bites a good friend and he needs stitches. He’s initially very upset, but calms down when you tell him your insurance will cover their medical bills. They don’t really want to go to court over it anyway, but don’t want to pay for the emergency room visit or the doctor follow up either.
MedPay may cover health insurance deductibles and co-pays, x-rays, surgery, ambulance and technician fees, doctor or hospital visits, nursing services, and more.
In either of these cases, you may be able to use MedPay to cover their medical expenses, up to the policy limit. While policies vary, the limit is normally between $1,000 and $5,000 per person, but homeowners can often buy additional coverage.
Medical Payment Exclusions
MedPay does not cover medical expenses every scenario. Typical exclusions include medical costs incurred due to the transmission of a communicable disease. In light of our current situation, homeowners shouldn’t rely on MedPay if they infect someone with COVID-19.
Medical Payments coverage is not applicable to injuries caused by controlled substances or physical, mental, or sexual abuse either.
When Does Personal Liability Coverage Apply?
MedPay can offer protection for small claims, but larger claims require personal liability coverage. It has higher limits ($100,000 and upwards) and covers you and family members who live with you, even if you are away from home when liable for an injury or property damage.
It applies to a much broader set of expenses such as pain and suffering, lost wages, substantial medical bills, property damage, and legal fees. However, $100,000 is a woefully inadequate limit should you be sued.
Minimum liability coverage should be at least $300,000, but you may need more if your assets exceed the liability limit. In this case, an umbrella policy is an affordable solution.
Your insurance policy serves you best when you understand how it protects you. Discuss yours with an independent insurance agency like ours. We’ll be happy to explain your policy’s benefits and recommend ways to close insurance gaps. We can also provide you with expert advice if you’re thinking about filing a MedPay claim.