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After a car accident: Health Insurance v. Car Insurance

Following an automobile accident, it is important to have peace of mind that your medical expenses will be covered. It may be unclear if personal injury expenses will be covered through car insurance, health insurance or a combination of both.

As with most insurance-related matters, the answer varies depending on the specifics of your automobile and health insurance policies. The following information can serve as a general guide for how coverage may be determined.

What happens after your medical visit?

When you receive treatment for your injuries, you will be asked for your automobile insurance policy information. The provider will work with both your car and health care insurance companies to determine who pays for what part of the medical claim. Once the claim is resolved, you will be notified of coverage determinations, as well as required to pay any expenses that were denied.

How are injury claims covered?

Available coverage for accident-related medical expenses includes:

  • Personal injury protection (PIP) – Generally covers minor injuries from an accident or the cost of the injured person’s medical deductible.
  • Bodily injury liability – Pays for another party's injuries up to a certain limit. Conversely, your injuries may be covered by another driver’s bodily injury coverage if they are found to be at fault.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist – Coverage if you are involved in an accident with someone who has no car insurance or insufficient insurance to cover their expenses.
  • Health insurance – Will likely pay if your car insurance has no medical coverage and you were the only person involved in the accident. Otherwise the insurance company will wait to see if another at-fault party covers your claim.

In conclusion, the best option may be to ensure you have adequate coverage on both insurance policies.

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