How do you know what coverage is best for you and your family? This outline should help. It talks about how to choose the right auto insurance coverage for you.
Here is a listing of the “Parts” of the Massachusetts Personal Auto Policy – look at it as a menu – other than the State Required Minimums – you can pick and choose which coverages you want and to which amount you want. Most importantly be sure to never have your car insurance cancelled for non payment.
Think of your situation and your budget as you go through the list.
For terminology, 20/40 refers to $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.
Part 1 – Bodily Injury to Others – Required – Covers injury to others in the State of Massachusetts 20/40 – you cannot change this amount.
Part 2 – Personal Injury Protection – Required – Covers up to $8000 of Personal Injury Protection – you can only lower the coverage amount – not recommended.
Part 3 – Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Auto – Required – Injury caused by someone with no insurance 20/40. It is recommended you raise this to say 50/100 or more as it does not add much to the yearly price. Ask us for a quote.
Part 4 – Damage to Someone Elses Property – Required – Covers up to $5000 towards someone else car – not yours. If you rear end a car – this part covers the car you hit. Just like if someone rear ends your car – their Part 4 would cover your car. Once you increase it from $5000 the price goes up a couple hundred dollars for the year. If you change it – go to $100,000 – this is the most common amount other than the State minimum.
Part 5 – Optional Bodily Injury to Others – Optional – This is an important part as it covers passengers in your car as well as bodily injury to others outside Massachusetts. It is not expensive (maybe $100 for the year) for what it covers. 20/40 is standard but higher limits are recommended – 50/100 or even 100/300 – ask us for a quote. If you have kids this is a must.
Part 6 – Medical Payments – Optional – Pays reasonable medical expenses and funeral services as the result of an accident. Inexpensive for what it offers. Ask us for a quote.
Part 7 – Collision – If you have a loan on your vehicle this part is mandatory. It can be expensive depending on your driving record. This part has a deductible – or the amount you are responsible for if you have a claim. Deductibles available are $300, $500 and $1000. The lower the deductible the more expensive. Most common is $500.
Part 8 – Limited Collision – Optional – Pays only if you are not at fault and does not pay for hit and run. Most choose to bypass this part.
Part 9 – Comprehensive – If you have a loan on your vehicle this part is mandatory. Covers for stolen, vandalism, fire and glass. This part has a deductible – of $300 or $500. Most common is $300 and be sure there is no deductible on glass. A good part to have in our area. Usually only ranges about $100 – $300 for the year.
Part 10 – Substitute Transportation – Optional – Helps pay for a rental car if you have a covered claim on your policy. Inexpensive $15 – $60 for the year. Can get $15 a day for 30 days or $30 a day for 30 days.
Part 11 – Towing and Labor – Optional – If you need a tow you have to call the tow company, pay for the tow – then submit the bill to the insurance company – they would reimburse you $50 or $100 depending on which you choose. A better deal is AAA – they will tow you up to 100 miles for free once you purchase their $95 yearly membership.
Part 12 – Bodily Injury Caused by an Underinsured Auto – Optional – Covers injuries that are in excess when the at fault vehicle is underinsured. Good coverage to have – 20/40 standard – we recommend higher limits of 50/100 – 100/300.
So, this is all up to you.
All of the parts to the policy have their place. Some are required most are not. You can mix and match the coverage to fit your needs. This should help you decide how to choose the right auto insurance coverage for you.
If you have any questions please call my office and we will assist you the best we can 413-543-3800