In standard automobile insurance policies, personal injury protection coverage will pay your medical expenses sustained in connection with a car accident. There is a deductible and a co-payment, and typically $250,000 in coverage is purchased.
Your auto insurance company may offer you savings by suggesting that you use your health insurance policy to cover your auto-related medical expenses. While that may save you money in the short run, it can be problematic in other ways. If for example, your health insurance company will not cover auto-related medical expenses, you may find yourself without any coverage for needed medical treatment. Also, you will be limited to seeing physicians in network, who may or may not be willing to write a report or testify for you at trial. Further, your health insurance company may demand reimbursement from you for all medical expenses paid, from your personal injury case recovery, whether through settlement or verdict. Those expenses can take a big bite out of your compensation for your injuries in the event that you are involved in an accident.
The deductibles and co-payments of your health policy or plan will apply to treatment for injuries from auto accidents. In addition, the coverage limits of your health policy or plan will also be in effect. These limits may be more restrictive than traditional PIP coverage. Your automobile insurer may only pay for necessary expenses not covered by your health policy or plan.
What if you lose your health insurance? If you are in an accident and your health coverage is no longer in effect, your auto insurer will pay PIP medical benefits. However, you will be required to pay an additional $750 deductible.
Choosing your health insurer for PIP option may reduce your premium, but you need to make sure that your health insurer would provide adequate coverage if you were injured in an auto accident, and that can be problematic.