I have practiced personal injury law for over 22 years in Massachusetts. I do not sell insurance! In these economic times, everyone is looking to save money somewhere. The national auto insurance companies keep promoting all kinds of “discounts”. You want to save money but please make sure you understand how the different coverages are used and how much you will actual save. Before you renew your Massachusetts auto policy this year, you should know these three things:
1. Make sure you have adequate Optional Bodily Injury coverage. I recommend at least $100,000 per person and $300,00 per accident. If you are at fault for a car accident, this is the amount of money that will be available to resolve that person’s personal injury claim against you. By having adequate optional bodily injury coverage, you will, along with other safeguards, protect your personal assets such as your home and savings.
2. Make sure you DO NOT elect a P.I.P. deductible. P.I.P. stands for Personal Injury Protection benefits. Under P.I.P. coverage, your own insurance company pays for, among other things, your medical bills, 75% of your lost wages, funeral expenses and replacement servces. The amount of a typical P.I.P. premium is $59.00! DO NOT elect to have an $8,000.00 decuctible JUST TO SAVE $59.00.
3. Make sure you have adequate Underinsured coverage. I recommend $100,000 per accident. This coverage protects you and follows you around. If you are in an accident that was not your fault and you are hurt you may be able to bring a claim against the at-fault party. What if he/she does not have adequate bodily injury coverage to cover the value of your claim? (See Number 1 above). Then you may be entilted to bring a claim against your own auto insurance company for Underinsured coverage because the person who casued the accident was “underinsured”. This coverage is very valuable and can be used if you are a passenger in someone’s else’s car or are a pedestrian.
If you should have further questions about these issues, please feel free to contact our offices.