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Do You Know Your Auto Insurance?

Many changes have been made in the law which affect the insurance coverage you should have on your automobile. The one thing to remember is that your personal body is more important than the automobile itself. Keeping this in mind, we would like to briefly explain the most important coverage’s you have available to you, as they relate to your body. (Please see the reverse side of this document for a sample Coverage Selection Page.) :

(#3) UNINSURED COVERAGE: This portion covers personal injuries you sustain, when struck by an individual who has NO INSURANCE, or injuries sustained in a HIT & RUN, UNAUTHORIZED USE OPERATOR, OR UNIDENTIFIED DRIVER ACCIDENT. This section will allow you to recover for your pain and suffering, once you have incurred $2,000 in medical expenses or have suffered a fracture or other permanent injury, such as scarring. Mandatory coverage in Massachusetts is now 20/40. However, that is very minimal coverage. Recommended coverage is 50/100, or more preferably, 100/300. The cost for this coverage is minimal in comparison to the benefits obtained.

(#12) UNDERINSURED COVERAGE: This portion covers personal injuries you sustain, when struck by an individual who has minimum coverage, or not enough of coverage to compensate you for the severity of your injuries, pain and suffering. DO NOT SELECT COVERAGE OF 20/40. THIS HAS THE SAME EFFECT AS THOUGH YOU HAVE NO UNDERINSURED COVERAGE AT ALL. Recommended coverage is 50/100 or preferably, 100/300. The cost for this coverage is minimal in comparison to the benefits obtained.

(#5) OPTIONAL BODILY INJURY TO OTHERS: In order to have proper insurance on #3 and #12 above, it is necessary to have the same increment of insurance in this section. Therefore, if you carry 50/100 on #3 and #12, YOU MUST carry 50/100 on #5. Likewise, if you carry 100/300 on #3 and #12, YOU MUST carry 100/300 on #5. This coverage insures people you may injure, as well as your passengers and accidents that occur outside of Massachusetts.

(#2) PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION (PIP): This covers medical expenses and/or 75% of your proven lost wages in the amount of $8,000. The laws in Massachusetts have changed, and currently, your personal health plan must be taken into consideration after the initial $2,000 in PIP benefits have been paid in medical expenses. Some personal health plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, as well as ERISA Plans, allow for your to obtain PIP benefits to the full $8,000 available. If you have personal health coverage, you must obtain proper referrals and stay in your health plan in order to obtain the full benefits of this coverage.

(#6) MEDICAL PAYMENTS: This is additional insurance which pays for your medical bills only. It does not apply to lost wages as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) would. In order to qualify for payments under this coverage, you must have exceeded $8,000 in medical expenses and PIP benefits. It is relatively inexpensive and is well worth taking even if you have personal health coverage. A satisfactory amount is usually $10,000 but increments start at $5,000.

(#7) COLLISION and (#9) COMPREHENSIVE: These areas apply to your vehicle, not your personal body. This covers property damage to your vehicle by accident (COLLISION), fire and/or theft (COMPREHENSIVE). Generally, the age and residual value of your vehicle determines whether or not you should have this coverage. However, if you have a loan with a bank, you MUST have Collision and Comprehensive Coverage. If you have no loan on your vehicle, you can lower your premium, by taking a higher deductible, i.e., $1,000. (Note: Your deductible will be lower, but you will be responsible for the first $1,000 in damage if you are at fault for the accident.) If you have a loan on your vehicle, the loan institution will determine the highest deductible they allow.

THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS AN OVER-VIEW OF THE INSURANCE POLICY COVERAGE AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME. IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE A COMPLETE STUDY OF WHAT IS GOOD OR NOT GOOD FOR YOU IN PARTICULAR. THE BEST WAY TO DETERMINE THIS IS TO STOP INTO OUR OFFICE WITH YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE SHEET. WE WILL BE HAPPY TO DISCUSS IT WITH YOU PERSONALLY, WITHOUT A CONSULTATION FEE. PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOUR COVERAGE SHEET DOES NOT INDICATE A DOLLAR AMOUNT IN THE ANNUAL PREMIUM COLUMN, YOU DO NOT HAVE THAT COVERAGE. IF YOU CHANGE ANY OF YOUR COVERAGES, BE SURE YOUR AGENT MAILS YOU AN ENDORSEMENT SHEET IMMEDIATELY TO VERIFY THE CHANGE.