Medical payments coverage (aka “med pay”) on your auto insurance is essentially health insurance for a car wreck. It provides treatment for “reasonable and necessary” medical costs stemming from a car accident.

Any med pay coverage you purchase is primary to your health insurance policy. Therefore, if you are treating for a car accident, the healthcare provider might request to see your auto policy declarations page to see if it should bill your services to med pay or your health insurance.

Particularly in the case of someone without any health insurance, med pay coverage is vital. This is because it allows you to treat up the amount of your coverage through your auto policy.

Without any med pay coverage or health insurance, the injured party is going to have a tough time getting treatment from the car accident. You would be reduced to trying to get doctors to treat you without an upfront way to pay them. The doctors would hopefully agree to do so, but they will only do that if they can get a lien on your ultimate recovery from the at fault party. This would at best, eat into your ultimate net recovery.

Some carriers allow you to purchase as much as $100,000 in med pay coverage. It is recommended that you purchase a minimum of $10,000 in coverage, and perhaps more if you have no health insurance.

Peter Bricks is a personal injury and bankruptcy attorney in the metro Atlanta area. He represents clients in Cobb, Cherokee, Cumming, Fulton, Dekalb and Gwinnett counties.