Underinsurance in Massachusetts, Again!
The law requires a minimum of Massachusetts uninsurance insurance coverage and Massachusetts underinsurance coverage. That minimal Massachusetts insurance amount is $20,000.
We have written extensively about the dangers of this: if you a victim of a Massachusetts motor vehicle accident and suffer serious injuries or loose income from a motor vehicle accident, you are limited to the amount of insurance the person causing the accident has. However, if you have sufficient underinsurance coverage, you can apply to your own insurance company for monies for pain, suffering and lost earnings. After 25 years of practicing law in Massachusetts, I have extensive experience in this. For example, last year we secured the full underinsurance policy for a young woman with a severe traumatic brain injury after she was struck by a taxi in a crosswalk – the taxi, like most taxis in Massachusetts – had only the statutory minimum insurance policy of $20,000.
This concept is gaining more attention, thankfully. Rental cars have numerous plans, and if you own a vehicle or have the right credit card, you may be covered for damages you cause when using a rental car; or damages you are a victim of. The New York Times focused a recent article on the dangers of Zipcars, because they were underinsured, perhaps because the Cambridge, Massachusetts based Zipcarrecently went public this week, selling shares and bringing large profits to the original owners and, of course, their investment bank. However, the story is misfocused. Zipcars have $300,000 in insurance, and, while this may not be sufficient, it is 25 times the amount taxis, and many other vehicles in Massachusetts have! The Times article itself points out that the Hertz Connect program only uses the state minimums.
Cars and trucks are inherently dangerous. They cause injuries. One can mitigate some of the devastation from a serious injury by having secured sufficient insurance coverage.