Personal Automobile Insurance
What is it
A car Insurance policy provides you coverage for all things that could go wrong with operating a motor vehicle. Whether it be damage to your car that was involved in an accident, financial restitution to other people’s property or liability damages paid to others for bodily injury, you can count on an automobile insurance policy to protect you.
why do i need it
If you own and operate a car in Massachusetts, you must purchase compulsory insurance as a minimum. If you have a car loan your bank will require you to have collisions and comprehensive coverage to protect their financial interest in the vehicle in case of an insurance loss. An auto insurance policy provides you the protection you need for any damage to your vehicle and also coverage for any liability that arises in operating your vehicle.
Who needs it
Any person that operates a registered motorized vehicle on a public road in Massachusetts is required by law to purchase compulsory insurance as a minimum based on Division of Insurance guidelines.
There are three types of protection offered by an Auto insurance policy:
Read below for details about all of the coverages and what they mean for you.
Bodily injury to others
Bodily injury to others protects you against legal liability for the accidental injury or death of others caused by the operation of your car, but only if the accident occurs in Massachusetts. You will be covered up to the basic limit of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. Injuries to the driver or passengers in your car are not covered under this part. If you drive outside of Massachusetts or in places where the public has no right of access, or if you drive with guests in your car, you would need the optional bodily injury to others coverage. Also, you could be sued for more than the required ($20,000/$40,000) limits for bodily injury to others. Buying higher limits under the optional bodily injury to others coverage may protect you from large losses.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Personal injury protection (PIP) pays up to $8,000 for medical expenses, replacement services and 75% of any lost wages. PIP will pay these expenses to you or anyone you let drive your car, anyone living in your household, passengers and pedestrians, regardless of who causes the accident. Your PIP coverage pays for medical expenses in excess of $2,000 that are not reimbursed by your health insurance only after these expenses have been submitted to your health insurer to determine what it will and will not pay.
Bodily injury caused by an uninsured auto
Bodily injury caused by an uninsured auto protects you, anyone you let drive your car, household members and passengers (unless covered by another Massachusetts policy with similar coverage) against losses caused by an uninsured or unidentified (“hit and run”) driver. A minimum limit of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident is required. This coverage does not pay for property damage or damage to your auto.
Damage to someone else’s property
This coverage pays for damage to another person’s property when you, a household member or another authorized driver cause an accident. A minimum limit of $5,000 is required. Compulsory insurance is the minimum amount of coverage required by state law. Accidents can often result in damage that exceeds these limits. Depending on your individual needs, you may wish to purchase increased limits on these coverages or optional coverages. Consult with LoPriore Insurance for help in determining what types and how much coverage you need.
Optional bodily injury to others
Optional bodily injury to others extends your liability protection above the mandatory limits required by the Commonwealth. This option provides coverage for accidents beyond Massachusetts to anywhere in the United States, its territories or possessions, or Canada. It also provides coverage for bodily injuries suffered by guests in your auto.
Optional medical payments coverage pays for medical expenses for you, your household members and passengers, over and above amounts covered by personal injury protection (PIP) no matter who caused the accident.
Collision coverage pays for damage to your car, less any deductible, no matter who causes the accident. Personal property is not covered unless it is permanently installed in your car. If your car is financed, your lender may require collision coverage. For an additional premium, you may purchase a “Waiver of Deductible.” With this waiver, your collision deductible will not apply when an accident is caused by an identifiable driver.
Limited collision coverage pays for collision damage to your car if you are no more than 50% at-fault for the accident and the owner of the other vehicle is identifiable.
Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to or loss of your car, less any deductible, resulting from events such as fire,theft, vandalism, and striking an animal, but not collision. Personal property such as a stereo is not covered unless it is permanently installed in your car. If your car is financed, your lender may require this coverage. If your automobile is stolen you must report it to the police and your insurance company. You will be reimbursed for transportation costs after the first 48 hours following the report.
Your deductible will be set at $500 unless you select a different amount. You can always save on your premium by choosing a larger deductible where one is offered. In determining the right deductible for you, decide how much you can afford to pay out of your own pocket in the event of an accident or loss in which you are at fault, or the other driver is unidentified.
What affects the cost of my auto insurance premium?
The amount that you pay for car insurance will depend on your individual risk factors, such as your driving record, the city or town in Massachusetts or New Hampshire in which you live, and other rating factors approved by the insurance commissioner. While every car insurance policy is different, maintaining a clean driving record will decrease your rates.
Who can drive my car and be covered by my auto insurance?
All listed operators on your policy would be covered on your auto insurance policy. Any operator that is not listed that regularly drives your vehicle will be excluded for coverage. An exception to this rule is in some cases unlisted operators could have some coverage due to it being incidental and not used regularly.
How can I lower my auto insurance costs?
There are many cost savings way to lower your auto insurance costs which include various discounts available from insurance carriers see list below
- Good Driver Discount
- Anti-theft Discount
- Multi-Car discount
- Student away from home
- Low mileage
- Pay in full discount
- Account bundling you auto and home insurance policies
- And much more!
Does my auto insurance policy cover me for ride sharing programs like Uber and Lyft?
No, a standard auto insurance policy does not automatically include this coverage. However some auto insurance carriers offer options that can be added to cover you for this.