Injuries, though, don’t always happen, and having to pay for them can be an unwelcome surprise. Medical expenses can add
up quickly. Combine that with car repairs and you can be in for financial ruin.
When it comes to auto accidents and injuries, it can be challenging to know which insurance covers your situation.
Do you use your health insurance? Do you use your personal injury protection? Can you use both?
How do you cover your medical expenses after an auto accident?
Auto insurance vs health insurance is an age-old comparison. In this guide, you’ll learn about the benefits of both auto insurance and health insurance and why you need both to be fully covered in the event of a serious accident.
A Fiorella Insurance Agent can help you choose insurance that’s right for you.
Auto Insurance vs Health Insurance: A Quick Overview
First, you need to know what auto insurance and health insurance cover. Everyone’s car insurance and health insurance policies are different, but there are some common things that each of these types of insurance is used for.
Auto insurance is used to protect you in the event of a car accident. Depending on the coverage limits and policies you choose, your car insurance policy may cover anything from medical bills to property damage of someone’s vehicle to bodily injury of someone in another vehicle. Some auto insurance policies offer extended coverage options, like rental car and roadside service packages. You usually get to choose your deductible, depending on your car insurance company.
Health insurance, on the other hand, covers medical expenses. After a deductible and copayments are met, your health insurance coverage will pay for doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescriptions. Depending on your policy limits, you may have a lot to pay out-of-pocket before
coverage begins. Another principal difference between health insurance and car insurance is that car insurance is only necessary for the driver of the vehicle, while health insurance is required for everyone according to the Affordable Care Act passed during President Obama’s administration.
So, what do you do if you’re in an accident? Which policy should you have? What else do you need to know about auto insurance vs health insurance?
Auto Insurance vs Health Insurance: What You Need to Know
There are a few things you need to know about auto insurance vs health insurance when trying to decide which to purchase.
1. Auto Insurance is Required if You Own a Car in Florida
If you have a vehicle with four wheels in the state of Florida, you must have auto insurance on that vehicle. Florida requires a minimum of \$10,000 each in both personal injury protection and property damage liability insurance.
Your vehicle financing company may have higher limits, so check with them before getting an auto insurance policy. Some financing companies require you to have a low deductible, as well. Either way, double-check to make sure you get the appropriate level of coverage.
2. Health Insurance May Cover Some Medical Expenses
When you are in an auto accident, you can use your health insurance for any injuries you may sustain. You’ll provide that information when you visit the doctor or hospital after an accident. Health insurance isn’t required, but it’s a practical thing to have if you anticipate any healthcare issues.
You will still have to meet your health insurance deductible with your health insurance plan before your insurance company will start paying for your claims. You’ll also be responsible for any copayments or coinsurance that is due at the time of service.
But be aware that it can take a long time to sort who was at fault in the accident, and you are not guaranteed a payout. It’s best to forward copies of your car accident medical bills to your health insurance company as you receive them. If you do decide to file a liability claim to cover medical costs later, you may need to reimburse your health insurance company for any expenses they’ve incurred through a process called subrogation.
Additional Thoughts on Health Insurance
Ask yourself the following questions: How likely am I to get in a car accident that requires medical care? How generous is my health insurance plan? Would I be able to afford the medical expenses of a car crash if my health insurance did not cover them? Is the additional expense worth the peace of mind it provides?
3. Personal Injury Protection Will Cover Some Medical
Because personal injury protection is required in Florida, there shouldn’t be a situation in which you don’t have any medical coverage if you’re in an accident. Personal injury protection (PIP) will cover medical expenses, time off of work, and other related expenses.
Health insurance does not cover things like time off of work. This is where having both auto insurance and health insurance can be beneficial – you can use your health insurance for major medical issues stemming from an auto accident, then cover the deductible and copayments with your PIP coverage.
Auto Insurance vs Health Insurance: Do You Need Both?
The short answer to this question is yes.
However, that isn’t always the right choice so here are some things to keep in mind about auto insurance vs health insurance:
- Requirements: There is no longer a requirement that you must have health insurance, but if you have a car in Florida, you do have to have auto insurance. Keep this in mind when making a decision about auto insurance vs health insurance.
- Policy Limits: Policy limits are different with auto insurance vs health insurance. For auto insurance, you’ll have a maximum limit your insurance company will pay for before you’re responsible for payments. With health insurance, you’ll likely have an out-of-pocket maximum.
- Deductibles: You’ll have a deductible to meet with both your auto insurance and your health insurance policies. There are differences, though. Health insurance deductibles tend to be higher than auto insurance deductibles. You can use your PIP insurance to cover some of your health insurance deductible, but not the other way around.
Deciding between auto insurance vs health insurance can be a challenge. If you can get both, definitely consider having more insurance than less with respect to these two types.
Auto Insurance vs Health Insurance: The Bottom Line
In an ideal world, everyone would have auto insurance and health insurance. However, if you have to choose between the two,
keep these three things in mind:
- Auto insurance is required – if you’re going to own a car, you’re going
to have to get insurance. There’s no way around it.
- Health insurance is practical – medical expenses can snowball quickly.
Health insurance ensures that you don’t pay a fortune out of pocket.
- Personal injury protection will cover some medical expenses – if you need
to increase any coverage, consider increasing your PIP coverage when
Choosing auto insurance vs health insurance doesn’t have to be a hassle. Read through this guide and make a financial plan in the event that you are in an accident. Choose coverage limits that make sense for your budget. A Fiorella Insurance Agent can help you.