Publish Date - June 24, 2021
Author: Emily Brown
Categories:   Useful Automotive Information
Will My Massachusetts Car Insurance Cover Me In The Event Of An Accident?
Nobody wants to find themselves being involved in a car accident because not only is it quite inconvenient and costly, but it can also prove to be fatal. When it comes to accidents, the law may even slightly vary depending on the state or country where it happened, making a personal injury claim a bit more difficult.
Nobody wants to find themselves being involved in a car accident because not only is it quite inconvenient and costly, but it can also prove to be fatal. When it comes to accidents, the law may even slightly vary depending on the state or country where it happened, making a personal injury claim a bit more difficult. This article focuses on car insurance laws in the state of Massachusetts, including whether your car insurance will be able to cover you in the event of an accident.
Massachusetts is one of the states in the US that implements a no-fault insurance law system. This means that drivers are required to carry their own protection. In this case, when they get involved in an accident, their insurance provider should cover the expenses that they incur for their injuries or their property. This is regardless of who is at fault for the accident. In this way, extraneous lawsuits are prevented and drivers are guaranteed that they will receive immediate medical attention without having to wait for the insurance of the at-fault party to pay them.
Thus, your Massachusetts car insurance will most likely cover you in the event of an accident.
However, even if a no-fault scheme is implemented in Massachusetts, you still need to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer who will be able to help you go through the claims process from your insurance provider. This is where you will need to call a Boston auto accident attorney as soon as possible to alert them of the car accident that you have been involved in. Rest assured that they will advocate for you with your best interests in their mind.
Keep in mind that even if no-fault insurance makes a lot of sense, this can still lead to high insurance premiums, as well as inconvenience for both the driver and the insurance companies. Generally, the cost of no-fault insurance can vary depending on the state but in Massachusetts, a 6-month premium can cost you around $638, which means that in a year, you need to spend more than a thousand dollars for your insurance premium.
Auto Insurance Requirements
Before getting behind the wheel, a driver in Massachusetts is required to carry a minimum amount of car insurance coverage. Every time you will be driving, make sure that you carry your proof of insurance with you because you will need to show this to police officers when they request you to. More often than not, your proof of insurance will be in the form of a card that contains your policy number as well as your insurance company.
Alongside this, your proof of insurance card will also list down your policy's effective and expiration dates, as well as your personal information. Most likely, it will also include information about your vehicle as well as your agent’s name if you purchased your insurance policy through a particular insurance agent. In these modern times, you can even present electronic proof of insurance when requested but rest assured that in Massachusetts, your car insurance information will be printed as part of your vehicle registration.
Car Insurance Limits
When it comes to car insurance limits, the laws in Massachusetts state that ideally, a driver should carry minimum liability coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, as well as personal injury protection. It will be common for you to find the numbers 20/40/5 alongside the minimum liability coverage. This simply stands for $20000 coverage for bodily injury per person, $40000 for bodily injury per accident, as well as $5000 for property damage per accident.
In terms of the uninsured motorist coverage, your premium should cover at least $20000 bodily injury per person and another $20000 bodily injury per accident. On the other hand, a personal injury protection premium should be able to cover $8000 per person. In case you are leasing or financing your vehicle, the owner or the lender may even require you to carry a physical damage coverage to ensure that their investment is protected. The latter is also referred to as full coverage.
For you to have a clear idea of the state-mandated car insurance limits, make sure that you are aware of some of the terms that you need to familiarize yourself with such as per-person, per-accident, as well as property damage per accident. The per-person limits present the total amount that your insurance provider can pay to cover the expenses incurred by a single person for his or her injury.
On the other hand, per-accident steps in when you have injured more than one person in a mishap. In this case, the amount provided by the insurance company will tend to pay out for all the injuries of the persons involved in the accident. The property damage per accident is the limit that your provider will shell out for the damage that you have caused in a single collision.
Types of Insurances
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Your personal injury protection (PIP) insurance will cover the medical expenses that you incurred to treat your injuries from the accident, regardless of who is at fault for the mishap. Some of the expenses that may be reimbursed to you from your PIP provider include your medical expenses related to your hospital stays as well as your rehabilitation. This insurance can even cover your loss of income when you fail to return to work because you are still recovering from your injuries.
Once again, yes, your Massachusetts car insurance will most likely cover you in the event of an accident through the PIP.
Apart from being required by the state, you should also consider getting a PIP if you are often driving with other passengers. In this case, you may be held responsible for their medical expenses in the event of an accident and they get injured. On the other hand, if your health insurance plan is not that great, then you may also consider supplementing with a PIP.
While your medical expenses may be covered by a PIP, some of the other things that you will not be able to use it for include the damages you cause to the property of other people as well as the damage to your vehicle, particularly after an at-fault accident. A PIP will also not cover the damage to your vehicle that stems from a non-collision-related incident.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
Even if the law in Massachusetts already states that each driver getting behind the wheel should have the appropriate insurance coverage, there are still drivers who fail to get the required insurance. This is where the uninsured motorist coverage (UM) comes into play. In this case, your UM coverage will help protect you from the injuries you have sustained if the at-fault party has no insurance coverage nor do they have the means to pay for your medical expenses.
You may have also heard about the underinsured motorist coverage. This works similarly with the UM, only that you can apply this if the at-fault party has insurance coverage, but it is insufficient to cover all the damages resulting from the accident. Nonetheless, both insurance is broken down into bodily injury and property damage which means that your bodily injuries, as well as your property damage, are covered.
The uninsured motorist property damage (UMPD) can prove to be extremely beneficial for various reasons. At the very least, it offers protection against hit-and-run accidents. Rest assured that you can always negotiate with your insurance provider to have the at-fault driver of the accident cover the deductible.
Liability Auto Insurance
Apart from the injuries that you or other people involved in the accident may sustain, you will most likely face damaged properties in the event of a road mishap. This is where liability auto insurance comes into play. It pays for the damages to the property that you have caused. Nevertheless, it is still broken down into two portions and that is the bodily injury, as well as the property damage. The latter is intended to help you cover the costs of the damages to the belongings of others.
Some of the basic components of a liability auto insurance coverage include the damages you cause to other drivers and their property as well as the attorney's fees if you are sued because of an accident. A liability auto insurance is mandatory in Massachusetts and its cost depends on the level of coverage that you choose, as well as the provider from which you purchased the insurance.
You should also familiarize yourself with the different types of liability insurance for you to have a good idea of the benefits it can bring you as well as when it is no longer necessary. For instance, a commercial auto insurance policy may be necessary if you have a company vehicle. In this way, the gaps that a personal policy won’t be able to cover are encompassed accordingly.
Just keep in mind that liability insurance won’t be able to protect you when you are driving a valuable vehicle. In this case, you are better off getting collision coverage coupled with comprehensive coverage because the latter will also protect your vehicle from the ones that are not covered by collision coverage.
Optional Car Insurance Coverage
Apart from the types of auto insurance mentioned above, there are other types of car insurance coverage that you can get to ensure that you are covered in the event of an accident. For instance, there is comprehensive insurance as well as collision insurance. The former can cover damages from weather events while the latter pays for the damages after collision regardless of who is at fault. You can also opt for limited collision coverage, as well as a loan or lease payoff.
When you insist on driving without proof of insurance, you will most likely face certain penalties such as settling a minimum fine of anywhere from $500 to $5000. In some instances, you may even be required to pay an amount equal to your full year’s insurance premium, at the highest market rate. Thus, not having proof of insurance can cost you a significant sum.
In parallel to this, you can also face jail time or up to a year just for driving without your proof of insurance. Your driver’s license may even be suspended for up to 60 days if you are caught doing so. If you don’t want to face these penalties, then make sure that your proof of insurance is with you every time you get behind the wheel.
Importance of Adhering to Car Insurance Laws
Adhering to the car insurance laws of the states will not only alleviate you from legal penalties but will also protect you and your assets in the event of accidents. For this reason, if you feel that your insurance coverage is insufficient for any reason, then make sure to exert the effort to scout for a new one that proves to be more comprehensive. In this case, explore online sources because in doing so, you will most likely come across various insurance providers willing to give you a free quote.
Compare different car insurance quotes for you to have a good idea of which will best suit your needs and preferences. Keep in mind that the proper amount of insurance coverage will be able to help you manage your expenses when you already find yourself involved in a car accident. The thing with insurances is that you never get to appreciate their value until such time that you already need to use them.
Indeed, your Massachusetts car insurance can cover you in the event of an accident, regardless of who is at fault. However, you need to ensure that you have sufficient protection to cover the extent of the accident. Otherwise, you may still need to shell out a certain sum to cover your expenses. The key here is to be a defensive driver who is always alert and focused on the road because, in this way, you will be able to avoid getting into a serious vehicular accident.