During unprecedented times, a lot can happen that we may never expect. You may indefinitely be laid off from a job you worked at for 30 years, or worse yet, that job may be eliminated due to the closure of the business. In these extreme circumstances, one thing that plays heavily on many peoples’ minds is the loss of medical insurance and the unknown risks that underly.
It can take weeks, or even months, to find affordable and adequate coverage for you and your family if this should occur. You can spend days researching insurance companies, looking at family plans, deductibles, health savings account (HAS) vs. preferred provider organization (PPO). It’s not a decision you should take lightly, because often you’re contracted in to paying for a few months of services before they even begin.
Something that many people do not consider while finding new coverage, is the risk they are taking with medical expenditures. Auto accidents can easily trigger hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills, and if you are experiencing a lapse in medical coverage, this can be debilitating to your livelihood. Now more than ever it may be wise to have your insurance agent do a quick assessment of your current auto insurance policy. There is a section of coverage on your auto policy that is listed as personal injury protection, or first party benefits. This component of your insurance covers medical expenses resulting from an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
Some expenses that may qualify under first party benefits include:
- Medical expenses: medical bills arising from doctor visits, surgical care, dental services or ocular treatment, emergency care, therapy or rehabilitation requirements, ambulance or emergency transportation, nursing services, medication, medical supplies, and prosthetic devices
- Lost wages (in some cases): if you or your passengers are unable to resume your normal work duties as the result of an accident-related injury, this coverage may assist with wages lost (please note, that not all carriers offer this as a part of their first party benefits on an auto policy)
- Funeral expenses (in some cases): funeral expenses may be limited by the terms of your policy, but first party benefits may reimburse the cost of funeral expenses if the death is a result of an accident
- Accidental death benefits: if an accidental death is the outcome of an auto accident, there may be a benefit that provides a payout to the surviving family members. In simple terms this can be easily described as being comparable to a life insurance policy if the result of death is caused by a no-fault accident
Insurance policies are unique, and every carrier has different exclusions that are listed on their coverage. It is best to discuss what coverage you have with your insurance agent, and it may be in your best interest if your medical coverage will be lapsed, to consider increasing the limits on your first party benefits.