Auto Insurance

Just wondering if anyone has their medical insurance as the primary on their auto insurance and then the auto insurance as the secondary for personal injury. My agent suggested it to me to save money on my policy. Thank you.

Jan '17

Is this option just a NJ thing?

If I recall correctly, when I lived there, I designated auto insurance as the primary. Sometimes it isn't about the $5 savings, but rather not fighting with a medical insurance agent for an auto accident - their coverage may be different, have to deal with in/out of network, etc.

In a car accident with severe injuries, you want medical treatment *now*. You could probably always shift to medical insurance for longer term treatment, rehab, etc. later (or if the costs are higher than the auto policy will pay).

Also - your health insurance doesn't cover your passengers...

Mark Mc. Mark Mc.
Jan '17

As an agent I tell people they can save some money making your medical primary sometimes as much as 15% off the PIP coverage part of a policy. You should be cautious because if you have an injury later on and your medical insurance has a high deductible or other thresholds you need to reach you will be paying a lot out of pocket vs the $250 deductible for the PIP (personal injury protection) coverage you can have here in NJ. NJ has some of the most generous levels of PIP coverage out of any state in the country. I am pretty sure the car insurance companies would prefer you use your medical instead of them as primary for medical since we are a no fault state and many accidents people are injured in are paid by their own company. For true saving it is best to check your auto insurance prices with other companies to ensure you have a competitive price. Just today I had an insured with one of my companies paying about $650 for 6 months and I checked it with my other companies and now I have a company that will cover him with the same coverage for $289. Even as an agent I will be surprised by pricing occasionally.

Jan '17

It is important that you check with your health insurance carrier to ask if the policy that you have allows the health carrier to pay as primary for medical bills from an auto accident. Many policies do not allow this including ERISA plans and Medicare. (I'm a recent retiree from an auto insurance medical claims department)

Claims Claims
Jan '17

Mark Mc - It's not just NJ, there are other places too. But many states don't have it as an option. You're generally giving up a lot of coverage when going to your medical insurance.

markymark - to answer the original question, no, I don't do that. It's not just you'd have to pay all the additional deductibles and co-pays, there's plenty of things medical coverage won't pay. Long term care, work disability, medical equipment, and some other things are what I would give up in my case even though my health insurance is really very good. At least in my case, it's not worth saving $35 to get the extra coverage.

Thank you for all the info. I have decided not to switch it over at this time.

Jan '17

I have this and it saves me a lot of money on my auto policy. $45 a month in savings. However I am also 20 years old so my insurance is high regardless! I did talk to my medical insurance agent first to confirm that it would be OK with them.

Chris Worthington Chris Worthington
Jan '17

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