Auto insurance is a large umbrella that has so many different things under it. From covering the repairs of vehicles to covering the cost of treatment and the lost revenue due to the accident, there are so many things auto insurance policies cover. But because of this vast coverage, things can get a little confusing.
One confusion that often pops up is, does auto insurance covers ambulance rides after an accident? Ambulance rides are expensive in the US, some costing as high as $7,000. This article will cover everything you need to know about auto insurance and ambulance rides.
Auto Insurance: The Basics
A single policy won’t cover everything when you opt for auto insurance coverage. There are different types of auto insurance, each with its terms and conditions. The most important type of auto insurance is liability insurance, which the government mandates.
Liability insurance: You cannot drive any vehicle in the US (in 49 states) without liability insurance coverage. But liability coverage is not for you but for the other person or vehicle that may get damaged in an accident; that’s your fault. So this insurance policy will NOT cover any cost of an ambulance, treatment, or any other medical expenses of your treatment.
Collision insurance: Collision insurance covers all the damages to your vehicle in an accident that may or may not be your fault. If the accident was your fault, collision insurance would cover the repair costs. If the accident was not your fault and the other person’s liability coverage is not enough to cover the damages, collision insurance can be used in that situation as well.
Comprehensive insurance protects your car from natural calamities, theft, etc. This policy is irrelevant to the topic.
Personal Injury Protection coverage: This insurance policy is the one that will pay for ambulance rides after an accident. There are 12 states in the US where the No-Fault policy applies, which means that it does not matter whose fault the accident was; everyone is mandated to have their own personal injury protection coverage.
PIP from almost every company covers the cost of ambulance rides. But more on that later. There is one more insurance policy that’s relevant to this topic.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This insurance policy is mandated in some states. UM/UIM coverage is used when the other person (who is at fault) either does not have sufficient liability coverage or does not have liability coverage at all. This policy can also be used to cover ambulance rides.
Does Auto Insurance Cover Ambulance Rides?
Liability insurance, personal injury protection coverage, and underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage are the three auto insurance policies that will cover the ambulance rides after an accident. Since there are many instances where two of these three could not be used to cover for ambulance charges, it is advised that you get all three. Select a cheap and great insurance coverage with affordable premiums, and you’ll be safe and secure.
Auto insurance policies do not specify what exactly will be covered under it. If there is something that is excluded, it will be highlighted. Since liability, PIP, and UM/UIM insurance all cover bodily injury, ambulance rides are covered in all three insurance. There could be exceptions in some companies, and it’s better to contact them at the time of buying the policy.
If you get in a road accident and, unfortunately, you have been injured, the liability coverage of the person at fault will be paying for all the cost of treatment. Since an ambulance ride is a part of this treatment, likely, you won’t be charged to take an ambulance to the hospital. But since ambulance rides are expensive and the liability coverage limit of the other person could be insufficient, what happens in that case?
Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If the liability coverage of the person at fault is not enough to cover the ambulance rides, you can use your UM/UIM coverage to pay for the extra cost. This is very important because if you need an ambulance, the injuries must be severe. And that translates to more cost of treatment.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage
Personal injury protection coverage is your best option to stay insured for medical expenses and costs. It is the only auto insurance policy made just for covering medical expenses, and hence, it also covers ambulance rides. If the liability insurance is insufficient, and even the UM policy is exhausted, personal injury protection can save your life and a lot of money too.
Many personal injury protection coverages work along with your medical insurance so that you don’t have to get two separate policies. This is very useful for people where PIP is mandatory. But where it’s not, you can have both medical insurance and PIP to be more secure.
Ambulance rides will be covered with the three policies we mentioned. But even if you have all these three insurance policies, there are some instances when they won’t cover ambulance charges.
When it’s Not Covered
As these policies cover medical expenses and not just hospital visits, it is very important to distinguish between when you “want” to use an ambulance and when you “need” to have an ambulance ride.
If the accident is so severe that you cannot drive your car and the medical personnel needs to take you to the hospital, then the insurance policies will cover the charges for an ambulance ride. But if you are capable of going to the doctor (or you don’t have to visit the hospital), then the insurance company will not cover the ambulance ride.