As the attached American Family Insurance Brochure states, Medpay ("medical expense coverage")
"protects you and others in the vehicle. It pays for reasonable and necessary medical expenses due to accident-related bodily injury, regardless of who is at fault.
Medical Expense covers:
• You and the passengers in your insured vehicle.
• You and your passengers when you’re driving another vehicle with permission.
• You and covered persons in your household while riding in other vehicles.
• You and covered persons in your household if you are struck by another vehicle as a pedestrian.
Funeral expenses (up to a maximum of $2,500) are also covered under Medical Expenses.
Medical and funeral services must be performed within one year of an accident to be covered.This is extended to three years if you have more than $10,000 of Medical Expense coverage."
(For an example of actual policy language, click SF certified policy -medpay portion only.pdf).
How does this coverage apply to cyclists -and more importantly, why should you as a cyclist have this coverage on your auto insurance policy?
BECAUSE: "You and covered persons in your household if you are struck by another vehicle as a pedestrian" = you are covered if you are hit by a car while riding your bike (for this purpose cyclist = pedestrian).
... most of the time, these policies require only that a vehicle be involved in the accident. It need not be YOUR vehicle. If you are struck by a car while riding your bike, your MPC coverage applies! This coverage is no-fault coverage, meaning the cyclist should strike a car and be entirely at-fault for causing the accident and ...MPC still applies!
Why does this matter? As more and more cyclists opt out of having health insurance, or have health insurance but with a huge deductible, they need help paying medical bills that result from a car-bike accident. MPC limits are typically $5,000 and the premium for this benefit is very low -usually around $3-4/month. You can also upgrade to $10,000 or even $25,000 with certain auto insurers. For a minor premium, a cyclist can purchase coverage that will help them pay medical bills right after the accident, with or without health insurance.
*Medpay is usually required to pay first responders first, within the first 30 days of the accident (Ambulance and ER). Typically the provider will bill MPC at "retail prices" - not the prices your health insurer would pay. This means a $1200 ambulance ride will be billed to MPC at the full price -not at the substantially reduced price your health insurer would pay.
MPC can also be used to reimburse the cyclist for out of pocket medical expenses -bandages, wraps, slings, creams, prescription and OTC drugs, massage therapy, chiropractic care and more.
An insurer providing MPC benefits will require itemized billing statements with billing codes and they are quite picky about the information they require before they will pay the benefits. A cyclist must be diligent in either compiling this documentation on their own or ensuring their providers are suppying it to their MPC insurer. A cyclist's failure to ensure bills are timely paid by MPC may result in the cyclist being sent to collections for non-payment of a medical bill.
MPC usually will pay medical expenses for up to 1 year following the accident.
For these reasons, we recommend every cyclist get MPC coverage on their car and that they initiate a MPC claim with their auto insurer right after an accident!