Operating a vehicle comes with a certain level of risk regardless of how safe the driver may be, and anyone who gets into a vehicle assumes that risk. There are thousands of car accidents each day, and most Massachusetts residents will be in at least one during the course of their lifetime. Car insurance helps drivers recover from the financial costs associated with covered accidents that they’re in.
Car insurance is usually written as a package policy that combines several coverages together. In a robust policy, the included coverages work together to create a web of protection that shields drivers from many potential risks.
Most people who own or operate a vehicle on public roads in Massachusetts need auto insurance, for state law requires it. Operating a vehicle on public roads without at least the minimum amount of coverage can result in fines and other penalties, and it also can leave the driver dangerously exposed to financial risks.
In many cases, drivers elect to get more coverage than state law requires. The state’s minimum requirements may not provide all the protection that drivers want.
Auto insurance policies offered in Massachusetts generally include the state’s three mandated coverages:
Bodily Injury Liability, which may cover injuries of people not in a driver’s vehicle
Property Damage Liability, which may cover damage to property outside a driver’s vehicle
Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury, which may cover injuries occurring in accidents caused by drivers who aren’t properly insured
Along with these required coverages, there are many others that policies may offer as standard or optional protections. Some of the more common ones include:
Personal Injury Protection, which might cover injuries of people in a driver’s vehicle
Comprehensive Coverage, which might cover damage caused to a vehicle during a non-collision incident
Collision Coverage, which normally might cover damage caused to a vehicle during a multi-car collision
Rental Car Reimbursement, which might cover the cost of renting a car following an accident
While not a coverage in the traditional sense, many policies also make emergency roadside assistance available. Drivers might have to sign up for comprehensive and/or collision coverage before they can add on emergency roadside assistance.
Because coverages protect against specifically defined risks, drivers should speak with an insurance agent who specializes in auto coverage about the coverages they need. An experienced agent will be able to assess what risks drivers are exposed to and recommend the right coverages for protecting against those risks.
Gap coverage is a specialized coverage that’s available through most auto policies and needed by many drivers. Drivers who lease or finance their vehicles are frequently required to purchase this coverage in order to protect the lessor’s or financier’s interest in the vehicle.
This coverage typically is for the difference between a vehicle’s fair-market price and the outstanding obligation in a lease or loan. Comprehensive and collision coverage limits are generally equal to a vehicle’s fair-market value, which often creates a gap between how much protection these coverages afford and how much a driver owes on a relatively new car. Gap coverage generally helps ensure that a driver can repay their full obligation if their vehicle is totaled while it’s worth less than they owe.
While the exact list of discounts that drivers can take advantage of differs from one insurance companies to another, most companies offer several discounts that drivers might use to lower their premiums. A few discounts that drives might take advantage of are rate reductions for;
Being a safe driver
Bundling policies together
Paying policies in full up front
Remaining with the same insurer
Being a good student
For help finding car insurance, contact the independent insurance agents at Roger Keith & Sons Insurance Agency. Our agents have helped many drivers in Massachusetts find an auto policy that’s right for them, and we’ll do the same for you.