Although the limits may be lower, medical payments coverage (“medpay”) can help when you are hurt by a car.  At least in Virginia, where the law make it part of every policy, it pays without regard to fault.  Coverage instead hinges on the person hurt and the person’s location when hurt.



Who is insured?


In Virginia, medpay coverage extends to (1) anyone in an auto designated as insured under your policy if injured while occupying that auto; and (2) you and all relatives who reside in your household, if they are hurt by a car, either while in a car or a pedestrian.


Most policies have medpay exclusions that bar coverage for other household residents if they are hurt in their own car that is insured under a different policy.  But read your policy carefully.



What amount is covered?


Calculating your medpay limits takes some basic math skills.  Look at your declarations page (click here to learn what that means).  Identify the per person limits for your medical payments coverage.  Multiply those limits by the number of vehicles on the policy, up to four.  The result is the amount of coverage per person, per accident.  If you have $2,000 in medpay limits (a typical amount) and three cars on the policy, your policy provides $6,000 per person in medpay coverage.


Importantly, it only pays for actual medical expenses (and also necessary death-related expenses).



The magic of medpay


In some situations, when an auto liability policy or UM policy pays you on a claim, it may get credit for payments you received from other sources.  That, however, almost never can happen with medpay.  Neither the liability insurer for the driver at fault nor your UM insurance gets credit for payments through medpay.


So if you are hurt by a car, whether you are in a car or not, hunt out all the possible sources of medpay you can find.  Check your insurance, your fellow resident relatives’ insurance, and the insurance of the car you were in when hurt, if you don’t own it.