A Guide to the Bodily Injury and Liability Coverages on Your Auto Policy

October 12, 2011 at 11:55 AM | Posted in Auto, Motorcycle, Personal Insurance | Leave a comment
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Your auto insurance can be confusing. How do you know what coverage limits you should have? There are so many parts to the policy – what does each one do? Here is a breakdown of the mandatory bodily injury and liability coverages of an auto policy. Optional coverages will be discussed in next week’s blog.

Part 1:  Bodily Injury to Others. This coverage pays damages (medical expenses, pain and suffering) to anyone injured or killed by your car only in an accident that occurs in Massachusetts up to the basic limit of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. 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, optional bodily injury to others (part 5) protects you in these situations.

Part 2: Personal Injury Protection. This coverage pays up to $8,000 to you or anyone you let drive your car, anyone living in your household, passengers; and pedestrians, no matter who causes the accident. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) pays for medical expenses, replacement services, and 75% of any lost wages. Your PIP coverage pays for medical expenses in excess of $2,000 that are not paid by your medical insurance only after these expenses have been submitted to the medical insurer to determine what it will and will not pay. Your health insurance may not cover all of your medical expenses from an auto accident such as cosmetic and dental services, co-payments, and deductibles. Also, your disability policy may have long waiting periods. The small savings from the larger deductible may not be worth it.

Please Note: Motorcycle drivers and passengers are not covered by PIP. However, the owner of the motorcycle must purchase this coverage to protect other people who may be injured in the case of an accident.

Part 3: Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Auto. This coverage 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). The minimum coverage is $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.

Part 4: Damage to Someone Else’s Property. This coverage pays for damage to another person’s property and costs associated with the loss of use of that property when you, a household member, or another authorized driver cause an accident.

Many agents will make suggestions on what amounts of each coverage you should carry, and can vary by agency. Only you can determine which coverages you should carry to protect yourself based on your financial situation.

Contact us at 888.850.9400 for additional information on what coverage options are available to you.

Remember to check back next week for guidelines on Optional Coverages!

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