Medical Payments Coverage (MedPay) in California – How It Works

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Every driver is legally required to have auto insurance. This insurance comes into play when a policyholder causes an accident, paying for the damages they inflict on others. Every driver is legally required to meet the state’s minimum coverage requirements for property damage and bodily injury liability, but every insurance company also offers additional coverage options. Insurance is effectively a paid-for promise that the insurer will provide compensation once given conditions are met. For example, your auto insurance comes into play if you cause an accident, paying for the damages you cause to others. However, if you purchase additional coverage, you could file a claim against your own insurance to recover your own losses regardless of who was at fault. MedPay is one of these possible additions to your insurance, and it’s important for all drivers to know what this covers.

How MedPay Enhances Your Insurance

MedPay exists to pay for medical expenses incurred by you or your passengers in a car accident. This applies even if you caused the accident, preventing you from paying for these medical expenses entirely out of pocket. If you have a basic auto insurance policy, it will only pay for the damages you inflict on others. Adding MedPay enables you to claim recompense for the medical expenses you or your passengers incur.

Most auto insurance carriers allow their policyholders to add the amount of MedPay they want to be included in their policy, and the policyholder’s premium increases accordingly. Many people elect to purchase MedPay equal to their health insurance deductible. This will effectively cover the out-of-pocket expense of paying the deductible after an accident.

MedPay can provide compensation very quickly after an accident. Other forms of coverage can also be added to an auto insurance policy, providing a wider scope of situations in which a driver can rely on their own insurance to pay for damages. For example, the state has one of the highest statewide rates of uninsured drivers, so many drivers add uninsured driver coverage to their auto insurance. This coverage enables the policyholder to file a claim against their own policy if an uninsured driver causes an accident, and this will not cause the policyholder’s premium rate to increase.

Dealing With an Insurance Company After a Car Accident

Remember that the more expansive your insurance coverage is, the more it will protect you after an accident, but it will also cost you more each month with your higher premium. All drivers should aim for a healthy balance of affordability and coverage, and even a seemingly small amount of MedPay will not be too expensive to maintain while providing an accessible financial cushion when it comes to medical expenses after an accident.

When filing any type of insurance claim for a car accident, it is a good idea to work with an experienced attorney. Not all insurance company representatives uphold their responsibility to act in good faith, and some will try to coerce claimants into accepting unfairly low settlement offers. A good attorney can draft a demand letter to an insurance company on their client’s behalf and assist them in exploring other recovery options if necessary.


Q: How Does MedPay Work?

A: MedPay is a type of optional coverage you can add to an auto insurance policy in the state. This coverage pays for any medical expenses incurred by you or a loved one in an accident, regardless of who was at fault for causing it. This coverage also applies in other situations, such as when a covered individual is hit while walking as a pedestrian or suffers injuries in an accident on a public transportation vehicle.

Q: Is MedPay Required?

A: Every auto insurance policyholder must have at least $15,000 of bodily injury liability coverage for injuries to a single person and at least $30,000 of total accident liability coverage for all persons injured in a single accident. These coverage amounts apply to injuries the policyholder causes. MedPay is not required to be included in an auto insurance policy, but adding it would allow the policyholder to claim against their own insurance for medical expense coverage regardless of who caused the accident.

Q: What Is the Difference Between MedPay and PIP?

A: Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage added to an auto insurance policy can pay for the policyholder’s personal injury damages in an accident regardless of who was at fault, including medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and other losses. MedPay is specific to medical expenses, so it is less flexible than PIP. However, MedPay can also cover the policyholder’s passengers injured in an accident. It’s important to evaluate all your coverage options and decide what level of protection would make you most confident.

Q: Can I Sue the Other Driver if I Do Not Have MedPay?

A: If another driver caused your accident, they are liable for all resulting damages. The total potential value of a car accident claim hinges on the scope of losses the victim suffered. MedPay can provide some valuable initial compensation that you can obtain relatively quickly, but when you do not have this coverage, or you suffered other losses that MedPay would not cover, you need to prepare to seek compensation from the at-fault driver.

Q: Will Causing an Accident Increase My Insurance Premium?

A: Insurance carriers price premiums for policyholders based on the perceived level of risk, and every policy has unique terms and conditions. If you cause an accident, your auto insurance premium may increase to account for your perceived increased risk level of causing another accident. Always verify the terms of a policy before purchasing so you know under which conditions your premium rate will increase. Ultimately, any car accident has the potential to inflict severe injuries on those involved, and your insurance coverage may play a large role in your overall recovery efforts depending on the scope of coverage options you have purchased. Kreeger Law Firm can assist you in navigating your insurance-related issues after an accident, so contact us today to learn more about the legal services we can offer.