What are first party benefits for car insurance?

First Party Benefits, also known as FPB, is not a very common form of insurance coverage. In fact, some states do not require you to take out First Party Benefits with your car insurance. Furthermore, FPB includes wide range of insurance coverage. However, only First Party Benefits-Medical is required in states where FPB is mandatory.

What is FPB-Medical? As the term implies, it covers medical expenses for the policyholder in case of an accident. It also includes coverage for other drivers listed in the policy as well as relatives who are living with the main policyholder. The nice thing about First Party Benefits (whether medical or not) is that you and the other people listed on the policy will receive the benefits regardless of whose fault the accident was.

FPB-Medical is similar to medical payments coverage and Personal Injury Protection, or PIP. Depending on the state where you reside, the benefits and coverage may vary. However, the basic services include the following:

  • Medical and surgical treatment arising from an accident
  • Rehabilitation services which are deemed essential. This includes physical therapy, speech therapy, and the like.
  • Other treatments such as dental, psychiatric, psychological, and optometric, which are also deemed necessary
  • Emergency services such as ambulance service as well as nursing care
  • Medicine, medical supplies, and prosthetic devices which are deemed essential

In Pennsylvania, where FPB is required, the lowest limit you can take out is $5,000. This amount includes the total amount that will be paid by the insurance company for all expenses per person. You can consider increasing the total limit depending on what other medical insurance you may have. In addition to this, the state of Pennsylvania requires that you have the same limits on all cars (or vehicles) if you are insuring several vehicles under one policy.

Aside from First Party Benefits-Medical, you can opt to take out other areas to be covered for FPB. You can opt to purchase wage loss coverage, accidental death benefits, funeral benefits, and extraordinary medical benefits. The last would cover other medical conditions which are not included in the basic FPB-Medical coverage. Limits also apply to the other areas covered by FPB. For funeral benefits, for example, Pennsylvania places a $2,500 cap. Similarly, there is a $25,000 limit for accidental death benefits. With combination benefits, you can allot the amount to different areas if you wish to do so.