Primary Coverage

Published: | Updated: January 6, 2018

Definition - What does Primary Coverage mean?

Primary coverage is insurance coverage that pays out regardless of whether there are other insurance polices covering the same risk. Primary coverage is contrasted with secondary coverage, which only pays out after a primary insurance policy has paid out. Many people purchase secondary coverage to add additional coverage to their primary coverage.

Insuranceopedia explains Primary Coverage

Primary coverage is often enough to cover total losses, but this is not always the case. For example, certain medical expenses are extremely costly and occasionally tap out primary coverage amounts. In such circumstances, the policyholder will be forced to pay the remainder out of pocket if they don't have a secondary insurance policy. Umbrella policies are a very popular way of obtaining secondary coverage for losses such as medical expenses.


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