In Massachusetts, we are required to carry auto insurance on our vehicles. But is the auto insurance we are buying and paying a lot of money for doing its job? Meaning, will it protect you in the event of an accident?
Because I have been handling auto accident claims for over 25 years, I have made it a habit to talk to my clients about their auto insurance coverage. People don’t really think it through and their agents are often not interested in explaining the pros and cons of certain policy limits.
Massachsuetts requires that its drivers carry minimum bodily injury insurance coverage of $20,000 per person and $40,000. per accident. I can tell you that many people in our Commonwealth carry these limits on their policy. It is simply not enough if someone is seriously injured. We all know how expensive medical treatment has become. Factor in a serious injury that keeps you out of work for a substantial period of time or permanently. $20,000.00 in insurance coverage would be a drop in the bucket. Sure, you could sue the person personally if your damages were over that amount. But do you think that the person who carries low coverage like that has any assets from which you could recover? No. You could get a judgment against them but the likelihood of ever collecting is slim.
So what can you do? Well, you can raise the uninsured/underinsured limits on your own policy. By doing this, if you are ever injured in an accident and the other driver does not have enough coverage, you can go to your own policy for coverage at no additional cost or penalty to you. If you are in an accident and it is the other driver’s fault.and they have the minimum coverage of $20,000.00. If you have $100,000.00 per person and $300,000.00 per accident in uninsured/underinsured limits, you could collect the $20,000.00 from the other driver’s policy and an additional $80,000.00 from your own policy. It would increase the cost of your insurance by a few dollars a month, but could be a lifesaver if/when you are hit by someone carrying low bodily injury insurance.
When renewing your auto policy this year, take a minute to look over your coverage. Ask your agent questions. Don’t wait until after you’ve been in an accident to find out your limits are too low.