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Voluntary Medical Payments

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Written By Joel Kranc

Contributing writer


What is voluntary payment for medical expenses coverage and why is it included in home insurance?  

Voluntary medical payments provide insurance for reasonable medical expenses should someone be accidentally hurt on your property, and you're not legally liable for the injury. It's automatically included in most home insurance policies.

For example, a visitor to your home slips and hurts themselves, requiring physiotherapy. As a homeowner, you have taken precautions to ensure your home is in a good state of repair (your driveway is shovelled and salted; your home is properly lit, uncluttered, and has level flooring, to name a few qualities of a well-maintained home).

You are not legally liable for this person's injuries in this scenario. However, your voluntary payment for medical expenses coverage would cover some of their medical expenses. If the injured party is litigious, this coverage may prevent the need to file a larger claim — saving money for you and your insurance company. Policy limits for this coverage may vary, but $5,000 per injured person is common. You don't have to pay a deductible to use this coverage.

People living with you are excluded from voluntary payment for medical expenses coverage. Household staff, however, are covered under it. Your insurance company will want proof of the injury, meaning the person will have to undergo a medical exam and provide medical records when required. They will be reimbursed for medical costs they incur within a year from the date of the accident.

What are the differences between voluntary medical payment coverage and personal liability insurance? 

Here's how voluntary medical payment coverage differs from the third-party liability insurance of your home insurance policy.

Personal liability coverage Voluntary medical payments coverage
You must have been deemed liable or personally responsible for causing an injury. You are not legally liable for the injuries someone sustained on your property. You're volunteering to help the injured person with their medical costs.
Covers lawsuits for injury or damage that you or your family members cause to other people, even if it occurs when you’re away from your property. Limited to covering medical expenses for someone who was hurt on your property.
Coverage applies to minor injuries that happen anywhere on your property, as well as property that adjoins your home, such as alleyways and sidewalks. Covers the injured person’s medical costs up to your policy’s limit (often $5,000 per person). They will only be reimbursed for expenses incurred a year from the date of the accident.
Covers property damage or bodily injury you cause to others. Does not cover property damage; can only be used towards medical expenses.

Recent Ontario home insurance quotes

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Home insurance quotes are compared from Apollo Insurance, CAA, Economical Insurance, Pembridge, Square One Insurance, and SGI

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What’s not covered by voluntary payment for medical expenses coverage in Canada?

Voluntary medical payments, while helpful in mitigating costs, do not cover everything. For example, things that are not covered include: 

  • Expenses covered by Medicare: medical, dental, surgical or hospitalization coverage 
  • Your own medical expenses or those of anyone living with you (household staff are exceptions)
  • Medical expenses covered by Workers’ Compensation 
  • Any costs related to loss of income

How much does voluntary payment for medical expenses coverage pay?

Voluntary payment for medical expenses coverage is standard throughout Canada. In Ontario, for example, typical payments cover $5,000 per person, and there is no deductible

Frequently asked questions about voluntary payment for medical expenses insurance

We answer your lingering questions about voluntary payment for medical expenses.

Is there a deductible for voluntary payment for medical expenses home insurance coverage?

There is usually no deductible. Voluntary payment for medical expenses home insurance is there to cover you in case of minor medical expenses needed by someone who is unintentionally harmed on your property.

How do I know voluntary payment for medical expenses home insurance is suitable for me?

Whether you are safeguarding your assets, your structure or the contents of your home, you'll want protection on your most valuable investment: your home. Insurance can help keep costs down when unavoidable emergencies strike.

Medical expenses for someone accidentally injured on your property can add up quickly. Luckily, most home insurance policies include voluntary payment for medical expenses coverage. Talk to your insurance professional about your policy's limit for this coverage and whether making a claim against it makes sense. You're not automatically liable when a person injures themselves at your home, especially if you’re a conscientious homeowner who has kept their home in good shape.

If you run a business from home and anticipate having people come and go, voluntary medical payment home insurance could be right for you. However, you must buy special home business insurance that includes voluntary medical payments.

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