QUESTION: I was just in an accident, but I don’t want my own insurance to get involved. Do I have to?
No, you do not have to use your own coverage if you do not want to, but you may be turning away money that you are entitled to. You pay a monthly premium to have this coverage and now you don’t want to use it? Nevada has a statute (N.R.S. 687B.385,) which states that your own insurance company cannot cancel, fail to renew, or increase your premiums for using your own insurance coverage when the accident is not your fault. So, if you have medical payments coverage and/or uninsured/underinsured motorist protection, USE IT!
QUESTION: Why do I need medical payments coverage? I have health insurance, so aren’t I covered?
Medical payments coverage generally pays for any medical bills incurred when related to an accident involving a motor vehicle. Importantly, there are no “co-pays” or “deductibles.”
Also, this coverage is usually portable as a named insured on the insurance contract (again, refer to your own coverage contract,) and if you are in your friend’s car and get into an accident, you can use your coverage on your vehicle even though it had nothing to do with the accident.
Why not submit your medical bills to your health insurance and the medical payments coverage? This way, nothing comes out of your pocket, and you are entitled to use both coverages—you paid for them! Every month you pay a monthly premium to have health insurance. Every month you also pay a separate monthly premium to have medical payments coverage through your automobile insurance, and you should have them send the amount of the bill to you directly with the check made out to you in your name. Then you can manage the bills and if the health insurance has paid the bill, you can keep the medical payments money!
Working with all of your resources and knowing how health insurance and medical payments coverage (often called “med-pay,”) can be used together can help to maximize your recovery.
QUESTION: I have “full coverage.” What does that mean?
It means that someone told you “full coverage” and you took that to mean “fully protected”—NOT SO! You likely have liability (which protects the other guy in the event that you cause the accident,) and collision/comprehensive coverage (which protects your car.) “Full coverage” is misleading because it may not include the uninsured/underinsured or medical payments coverages which are critical.
QUESTION: What is Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage? Do I need it?
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is CRITICAL for protecting YOU! Purchase this coverage and in the largest amounts you can afford.
In Nevada, N.R.S. 687B.385 states that your own insurance company cannot cancel, fail to renew, or increase your premiums for using your own insurance coverage when the accident is not your fault.
These uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages are what you buy to protect you and the passengers in your car. Your loved ones also traveling in your car are protected by this coverage as well when they are injured in the accident with you.
Interestingly, your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage cannot be higher than the liability coverage you maintain on the vehicle.