Guest medical coverage is one of the four types of coverage offered by standard renters insurance policies. It’s also sometimes referred to as “medical payments to others.”
When you have guest medical coverage, if someone is injured or gets sick in your home, your insurer will pay some of their medical bills.
For example, if you cook something and one of your guests gets sick and has to be hospitalized, or if the plumber you hired trips over your cat and breaks their arm, your renters insurance provider will cover part or all of their hospital bill. They’ll pay up to a fixed amount that you choose when you buy your policy, generally between $1,000 and $5,000.
How is guest medical coverage different from liability coverage?
Guest medical coverage is similar to personal liability coverage, which is the part of your insurance that will cover your legal expenses if you hurt someone or destroy their property and they take you to court. However, guest medical coverage has several key differences from liability coverage:
- Guest medical coverage only kicks in if the incident in question happened in your home. Personal liability coverage protects you everywhere.
- Your personal liability coverage only kicks in if someone tries to hold you legally responsible for their property damage or injury. Conversely, guest medical coverage kicks in whether or not the victim tries to hold you responsible (it even kicks in if you weren’t involved in the incident at all).
- Guest medical coverage payouts are usually much lower than personal liability coverage payouts. Standard renters insurance policies offer at least $100,000 in personal liability coverage, and usually only offer $1,000 to $5,000 in guest medical coverage. (As mentioned, you get to pick the maximum amount of coverage when you buy your policy.)
Basically, the point of guest medical coverage is to help your guests with minor hospital bills so that they don’t have to escalate things and take you to court over minor injuries.