Massachusetts Uninsured and Underinsured Motor Vehicle Benefits
All drivers should carry uninsured and underinsured motor vehicle benefits, ideally in a large enough amount that they can be compensated adequately if they are involved in a major accident.
As noted by the name, uninsured coverage helps to compensate a driver and the driver’s vehicle occupants if they are injured in a collision and the other driver is not insured, and underinsured coverage applies if the other driver does not have sufficient coverage to pay for the damages caused.
In Massachusetts, drivers are only required to have the following coverages:
Bodily Injury Liability $20,000 per person/ $40,000 Limit
Property Damage Liability $5,000 Limit
Uninsured/Underinsured Bodily Injury $20,000 / $40,000 Limit
Personal Injury Protection $8,000 Limit
These amounts are very low, and when severe injuries result, the $20,000 limit will be exceeded very quickly, as severe injuries can easily cost $100,000 or more in medical expenses alone. Most drivers causing such injury will not have assets available to pay a judgment that may reach several thousand dollars, and in such instance, liable drivers may declare bankruptcy.
Your Insurer’s Responsibilities
Uninsured and underinsured bodily coverage can apply to medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional damages, and lost wages. Uninsured and underinsured motorist property damage additionally covers damages to your vehicle.
It’s important to understand that there is a huge difference between how your insurance company must treat your claim, and how the insurance company for the other driver may react to your claim. The insurance company for the driver who hit you does not have any obligation to you. They can fight and refuse your claim; as their only obligations are to their insured (the other driver). This is the case even if you and the other driver have the same insurance company.
In a claim against your insurance company for uninsured or underinsured benefits, they must treat you fairly, or they could potentially be liable for another claim – insurance bad faith. You have a contract of insurance with your carrier; they have a legal duty to pay what they may owe.
How I Help
In vehicle accidents, it’s always important to look to whether an injured driver has uninsured and/or underinsured coverage, which may be an important source of securing funds for medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage, and lost wages. If you’ve been injured, I can explain how the different insurance coverages may apply to your situation.