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An accident with an underinsured driver is a financial nightmare

When you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, there's an inherent risk involved. In fact, accident rates seem to keep increasing. In order to offset the financial implications of a potential accident or mistake behind the wheel, drivers in Massachusetts must have an active insurance policy that covers their vehicles and the damage they could cause.

You may assume that because you have a good insurance policy, you don't have to worry about the monetary fallout of a collision, especially when it's clear the other driver was at fault. Unfortunately, if you get into a crash with someone who doesn't have a valid policy on one's vehicle or someone who has state minimum insurance, you could still find yourself facing serious financial problems in the future.

Massachusetts minimum insurance won't cover much

State laws in Massachusetts require that there is an active insurance policy on any registered motor vehicle. These policies need to include several kinds of coverage, including personal injury protection, bodily injury to others, bodily injury caused by an uninsured automobile and damage to property. In some ways, these requirements are more comprehensive than those in other states, as many only require bodily injury and property damage coverage.

However, the amount of coverage required is actually quite low. The minimum amount of bodily injury coverage you can have is $20,000 per person or $40,000 per accident. The amounts are the same for bodily injuries caused by an uninsured vehicle. Personal injury protection only needs to include $8,000 worth of coverage. When it comes to property damage, the minimum coverage amount is only $5,000.

Expenses can quickly exceed the minimums set

It is easy to see how an accident could cause well more than $5,000 worth of property damage. Repairs to a vehicle could easily exceed that amount, to say nothing of the cost associated with replacing a completely wrecked vehicle.

The medical coverage is also far too low. With soaring modern medical costs, emergency transportation to the hospital, trauma care or just a single surgery could completely use up the full amount of medical coverage. If several people in your vehicle ended up injured, you could quickly exceed the $40,000 bodily injury coverage limit for minimum policies. When that happens, you could end up responsible for the rest of the expenses related to the crash, including medical bills and lost wages.

Consider underinsured riders and the need for compensation

If you have not yet gotten into a crash with another vehicle, it may be time to call your insurance agent. You can add coverage to your own policy to offset the financial risk related to a crash caused by someone with state minimum insurance.

If you've already suffered a collision caused by an underinsured driver, it may be time to think about other ways to get compensation, including a personal injury lawsuit.

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