Basics of Automobile Insurance
Automobile insurance helps protect you against any financial loss brought on as a result of an accident. Auto insurance will provide property, liability and medical coverages.- Property coverage pays for damage to or theft of your car.
- Liability coverage pays for your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage.
- Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and possibly lost wages and funeral expenses.
A Massachusetts auto insurance policy is broken down into two major categories.
Compulsory Coverage: the minimum amount of coverage and limits required by state law and includes:
- Bodily Injury to Others: provides coverage against legal liability for the injury or death of others, excluding your own passengers. The minimum limit is $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. Only covers accidents which occur in Massachusetts.
- Personal Injury Protection: will pay up to $8,000 for medical expenses, replacement services and 75% of lost wages. Those covered include you, anyone you let drive your car, anyone living in your household, passengers and pedestrians, regardless of who causes the accident.
- Bodily Injury caused by an Uninsured Auto: protects you, anyone you let drive your car, household members and passengers against losses caused by an uninsured or unidentified (hit & run) driver. The minimum limit is $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.
- Damage to Someone Else's Property: pays for damage to another person's auto or property when you, a household member or another authorized driver causes an accident. The minimum limit is $5,000.
- Optional Bodily Injury to Others: is similar to the Compulsory Bodily Injury coverage, but will also provide coverage for injuries to your guest occupants and for accidents which occur outside off Massachusetts.
- Medical Payments: protects anyone occupying your vehicle at the time of an accident. Also covers you or a household member if you are struck or occupying another vehicle. Will pay for reasonable expenses for necessary medical and funeral services incurred as a result of an accident.
- Collision: pays for any direct or accidental damage (less your deductible) to your auto caused by a collision. Will also pay for collision damage to other autos while being used by you or a household member, with the owner's consent.
- Limited Collision: will pay in some situations for direct and accidental damage to your auto caused by a collision. Will also pay for collision damage to other autos while being used by you or a household member, with the owner's consent. Pays only if there is a multi-vehicle accident where the operator is 50% or less at fault and the other auto owner must be identified.
- Comprehensive: pays for any direct or accidental damage (less your deductible) to your auto other than damage (glass breakage, theft) caused in a collision. Will also pay for such damage to other autos while being used by you or a household member, with the owner's consent.
- Substitute Transportation: will reimburse you in certain situations for the cost of transportation if your car cannot be used as a result of collision damage or loss (theft).
- Towing and Labor: pays for towing and labor each time your auto is disabled.
- Bodily Injury Caused by an Underinsured Auto: protects persons injured by owner/operator of an at fault vehicle which did not have enough insurance to compensate the injured persons.