In addition to having enough auto insurance to protect yourself if you cause a car accident, it is equally important to have enough auto insurance to protect you if you are injured as a result of someone else's negligence and they do not have enough insurance coverage to pay for your losses.
First party auto insurance coverage protects you if the person that causes the accident does not have enough coverage or is uninsured. In Rhode Island, underinsurance and uninsurance coverage is purchased together. In Massachusetts, underinsurance coverage and uninsurance coverage is purchased separately.
Underinsurance coverage protects you if the person that causes the accident and injuries you do not have enough coverage. Underinsurance coverage allows you to collect off your own policy to supplement the insurance of the person that causes the accident.
An example of this is if the person that causes the accident has $25,000 in liability coverage and your injuries are worth more than that, then you can collect from your underinsurance coverage on your own vehicle. If you have $100,000 per person underinsurance coverage then you would place a claim against your underinsurance coverage once you exhaust the $25,000 coverage of the person that causes the accident.
In Rhode Island, you can collect your underinsurance coverage over and above the coverage of the person that causes the accident. In Massachusetts, you must deduct the liability coverage from the underinsurance coverage on your auto insurance policy and you can collect the difference. If you apply the example above to Massachusetts, you would be able to collect $75,000. In Rhode Island, you would be able to collect the full $100,000 in the same example.
Uninsurance coverage covers you if you are injured by someone who does not have liability auto insurance. This would mean that they are uninsured and you can collect the uninsurance coverage on your vehicle.
Using the same example we've been working with, if you have $100,000 per person uninsurance coverage and the person that causes the accident is uninsured, then in Rhode Island and Massachusetts you can collect up to $100,000 from your uninsured coverage.
It is extremely important to price the cost of underinsurance coverage and uninsurance coverage. Although it is often the least expensive part of your coverage, it is the most important. When buying auto insurance, you must protect yourself from reckless drivers and make certain that you have first party coverage in case you are involved in an underinsured or uninsured.
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Have you suffered serious injuries in a car accident? Do you need help pursuing financial compensation for all of your damages? At Karns & Kerrison, we are committed to serving clients throughout the state of Rhode Island with their personal injury cases. Our lawyers have the skills and resources you need to secure a fair case result and recover the compensation you deserve.