insurance

Why you need MedPay in car insurance

If you live in one of the nearly 30 states that allow "stacking" of auto coverage, you may be able to stack your MedPay coverage by the number of vehicles on your auto policy. That means that if you own three insured vehicles and stack your $5,000 MedPay coverage, you would have a total of $15,000 in MedPay available to you or other covered individuals in an accident.

Despite the compelling arguments in favor of MedPay, nearly one in four State Farm drivers chooses to roll without it in states where it is offered, according to spokesman Kip Diggs. Those who choose to do so can either afford to self-insure for the cost of items covered under MedPay or are willing to roll the dice if it means saving a couple of bucks a month.

But Perry says a smarter move for many would be to boost coverage from the standard levels of $1,000 to $5,000 up to $10,000 or more. The cost to move from $2,000 to $10,000 in MedPay on a Travelers auto policy is around $10 per year, according to agent Shawn Wainwright of Brown & Brown Insurance in Florida.

"Going up to $50,000 or even $100,000 usually costs very, very little and can be worth it," Perry says. "I know one case where the driver only had $5,000 (MedPay) and had a serious accident in which she was disabled for a long time. A year and a half after her accident, her credit had been ruined because she had all of the hospital bills she couldn't pay. Even though the other car insurance company acknowledged liability, she had to wait for the entire claim to be closed before she could get that recovery."

"I generally would never tell anybody that they don't need it or don't have use for it," she says. "You need that MedPay."

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