It’s the smartest $15 you’ll ever spend.

Don’t mistake Bodily Injury for MedPay (Medical Payments). On most car insurance you and your passengers are not covered by Bodily Injury. I’ve had many patients who think that because they’re insured with a “good company” that their policy will cover medical costs for them and and their passengers. Not true. And don’t assume you have MedPay just because you have “full coverage.”

MedPay pays medical bills for anybody riding in your vehicle regardless who’s at fault. And it gets better. MedPay also covers you if you get hit by a car while you’re walking (like at the Home Depot parking lot!), hit while riding a bike, if you’re hurt on public transportation or even riding in someone else’s vehicle. MedPay has no deductible and no co-pay and it kicks in the moment you or your passengers are injured.

Many people mistakenly think that their health insurance is all they need. But health insurance may not cover many expenses like ambulance, chiropractic, dental, prosthetics and, in the worst-case, funeral expenses. If your health insurance has a $1,000 deductible with a 20 percent co-pay and you have a $5,000 medical claim you will pay $1,800 out of pocket. With MedPay you will pay zero.

Ever give someone a ride, like your kid’s friend? If they get hurt in your car either you or their family will have to pay out of pocket for all their medical bills including deductibles, co-pays and non-covered expenses like those above. If their family has no health insurance you could have an even bigger problem. Even if the accident is not your fault it can take months for the at-fault person’s insurance to pay the bills – and that’s if they even have insurance! In many cases they deny fault and you have to get an attorney and possibly go to trial to get the other insurance company to pay.

Does your child ever get a ride with a friend? Do you always get a copy of their auto policy to be sure they have MedPay? You don’t have to if you have MedPay on your own car. If your child is hurt while in a friend’s car then your MedPay will cover it. No deductible. No copay.

MedPay is cheap. On my policy the MedPay is $14.52 every six months for $5,000 of coverage. This is not just $5,000 total coverage – it’s $5,000 per injured person that’s in my car. If four people get hurt it’s a total of $20,000 in coverage. Having written this I just emailed my insurance agent to quote me for $10K, $50K and $100K. If you know what a week in the hospital can cost then this is not unreasonable.

While your at it, be sure you’ve got Rental coverage too ($33.62 on my policy). I made that mistake many years ago when my car got t-boned in a gas station by an uninsured driver and it cost about $1200 to rent a car while my car was being repaired.

Driver’s are not getting better and the roads are not getting safer. The most likely place for you or your family to be badly hurt is in a car. Get MedPay.