Massachusetts is considered a “no-fault” state for auto insurance. This basically means that your policy covers your injuries and expenses while the policy of the other driver pays for their injuries and expenses. Massachusetts law mandates auto insurance. There are four mandatory parts with the minimum liability requirements for each.
Part 1, Bodily injury to others protects you from legal liability in an accident for injuries to passengers in another vehicle. It does not protect passengers in your vehicle or an accident that occurs outside Massachusetts. The legal limit is $20,000 for each person and $40,000 for each accident.
Part 2 Personal Injuries Protection pays up to $8,000 to cover medical expenses, replacement services, and 75% of lost wages. This applies to anyone who is allowed to drive your car, regardless of the cause.
Part 3 Bodily Injury caused by an Uninsured Automobile protects you and anyone else who is allowed to drive your car against any losses due to an uninsured driver. You will need $20,000/$40,000 in liability limits, but you can purchase additional coverage.
Part 4 Property Damage covers damage to property of others if you are in an accident. Although the minimum coverage required is $5,000, most people have significantly greater coverage.
These four sections are the Massachusetts state law-mandated coverage. However, most people want additional protection in the event of an accident.
Part 5 Optional Bodily Injuries to Others is one of these coverages that most drivers should have. You are covered as in Part 1, but this part can provide additional protection, such as higher limits, protection for your passengers and protection from outside Massachusetts. To determine what limits you should carry and which one best suits your needs, consult an agent.
Part 6 Medical payments will cover reasonable funeral and medical expenses for accident victims. You may not need this coverage if you have sufficient health insurance, but it can provide additional coverage for passengers who are not covered by your policy.
Part 7, Collision covers damage to your vehicle, regardless of fault.
Part 8 Limited Collision pays for damages to your car if you’re less than 50% responsible and have the name of another driver. Your lien holder would require collision coverage if you have a lien on your car.
Part 9 Comprehensive covers damage to your vehicle for fire, theft, vandalism, and other causes. If your lien holder has placed a lien on your car, they will require that you purchase this coverage. Even if your car is of little value, this section can pay for a damaged windshield. This could cost you several hundred dollars. It’s worth looking into purchasing this part for the small premium.
Part 10, Substitute Transport will pay you up until the limit you choose, and in certain circumstances towards the rental or replacement of your vehicle while it is being repaired following an accident. This coverage is for you if your car is stolen or damaged in an accident.
Part 11 Towing would pay you up until your limit ($50.00 to $100.00) for towing and labor costs each time your vehicle is disabled. This coverage is not necessary if you are a member of a Motor Club, or have Roadside Assistance from the manufacturer.
Part 12 Bodily injury caused by an Underinsured Automobil would cover you for any bodily injury that occurs in an accident where the driver was not covered. To determine your specific needs, consult an insurance professional.
You now know what your policy covers and how much you should purchase it. But what about the cost? Massachusetts was granted managed competition on April 1, 2008. This brought with it competitive rating. Rates are affected by many factors, including where you live, how you drive, and your driving record. It is always a good idea to shop around for the best deal and any discounts. You can get discounts for “low mileage”, “multiple cars”, and even “good students”. Check with your agent to determine if you are eligible. It is best to bundle your auto and home policies with the same carrier. They will often offer discounts if they write both.
Be sure to verify that every carrier has the same information and circumstances. This information can often be different and could have a significant impact on the rate. Look for an agent who can provide you with multiple quotes from financially sound carriers, and has a reputation for providing excellent customer service.