What is medical payments coverage?

Medical payments to others coverage reimburses you for medical expenses related to guests' bodily injuries inside of your home, regardless of who is at fault.

Pat Howard 1600

Pat Howard

Published July 10, 2019

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Medical payments coverage reimburse you for guests’ medical expenses if they’re injured on your property, whether you’re at fault or not

  • It is designed to cover minor injuries and prevent lawsuits

  • You can typically get up to $5,000 in medical payments coverage, although certain insurers offer $10,000 and $25,000 options

A standard homeowners insurance policy includes coverage for your home, your personal property, and your liability in the event you’re sued for an accident on or off the premises. But there’s also a section of your policy that covers you if a guest is injured on your property whether you’re to blame or not, called medical payments to others coverage.

Medical payments to others, also referred to as Coverage F on your policy, is for small medical claims resulting from a guest injury on the insured premises (and off the premises in limited cases). Medical payments coverage limits in a standard policy are typically $1,000 to $5,000. That means if you have $5,000 in coverage and a houseguest’s injuries exceed that amount, the difference needs to be paid for out of pocket.

Although it’s fairly limited and only intended for minor physical injuries, medical payments coverage can potentially prevent the injury from escalating into a lawsuit. An injured houseguest may think twice about suing you if you offer to cover their hospital bills with medical payments to others coverage.

What does medical payments to others cover?

Medical payments to others coverage is a type of liability coverage in every standard home insurance policy. It covers guest injuries on your property, regardless of who is at fault.

According to the Insurance Service Office (ISO), medical payments to others will cover “necessary” medical expenses that are incurred within three years from the date of an accident. The following expenses, if deemed necessary by your insurer, are reimbursed by Coverage F:

  • Medical
  • Surgical
  • X-ray
  • Dental
  • Ambulance
  • Hospital
  • Professional nursing
  • Prosthetic devices
  • Funeral services

Keep in mind that medical payments to others doesn’t cover injuries to permanent residents of the home, except if the resident is an employee of the household. That means if a groundskeeper or housekeeper is injured, this coverage can reimburse them for medical expenses.

Medical payments to others will also cover injuries to individuals away from the insured location if the injury:

  • Arises from a condition at the home
  • Is accidentally caused by you
  • Is caused by an employee of the residence
  • Is caused by an animal of the insured
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What is excluded from medical payments to others coverage?

Medical payments to others coverage does not apply to injuries that arise out of the following circumstances:

  • The injury was expected or intentional
  • The injury arises out of connection with business that was conducted at the insured location (unless the business being conducted is related to the rental of the home on an occasional basis or if the home is being used in part as an office, school, studio, or private garage)
  • The injury arises out of failure to render professional services
  • The premises where the injury occurred is owned by you, rented to you, or is rented to others by you but isn’t insured
  • War
  • Communicable disease
  • Corporal punishment or physical or mental abuse
  • Controlled substances

How much medical payments to others coverage should you have?

Since medical payments coverage often deters injured parties from pursuing expensive legal action against you, you should go with the highest coverage limit offered by your insurance company. Your coverage options with a standard insurer are typically anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000. But certain carriers, such as Chubb, also offer medical payments coverage as high as $25,000.

If the cost of your policy is your concern, consider that the liability section of your policy (personal liability coverage and medical payments coverage) generally provide the biggest bang for your buck, so going with the maximum coverage amount really isn’t going to cost you that much more than if you opted for the minimum.

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.