Rob Levine Personal Injury Lawyer
Rob Levine Attorney At Law
Rob Levine Attorney At Law

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Hit By Someone With No Insurance, Do You Have The Right Coverage?

Picture this. You are coming home from work after a long day and you stop at a red light. As you sit at the light trying to figure out what dinner is going to be or whether you are going to the gym… you get rear-ended. The next thing you know, you are being rushed to the hospital with a broken leg, whiplash, and pain all over your body. Over the next few days as you struggle to recover you are told that the person who struck you does not have car insurance, or that they have their state’s minimum policy limits. You think to yourself “now what do I do?”

This is why many states require uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM for short). UM/UIM differs from state to state but its purpose is the same, to protect you from those who have no coverage or the minimum coverage. But how does this work you might ask? Do I have enough coverage? Or, do I have the right coverage? Well, it often depends on where you live.

RHODE ISLAND:

State minimum policy: $25,000.00 per person, $50,000.00 per occurrence.

Rhode Island requires all drivers to carry UM/UIM coverage but, it can be waived in writing. Rhode Island law also allows for stacking. This means you are allowed to combine the policy limits of the defendant with your own coverage.

 For example: your damages total $150,000.00 but the defendant only has the state minimum policy of $25,000.00. However, you have coverage of $100,000.00 per person. This means you can recover $125,000.00 for your injury.

MASSACHUSETTS

State minimum policy: $20,000.00 per person, $40,000.00 per occurrence. 

Massachusetts requires all drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage (Part 4) but underinsured coverage (Part 12) is optional. Massachusetts DOES NOT allow for stacking and thusly whoever has the higher policy limit will dictate the maximum recovery.

Example 1: your damages total $150,000.00 but the defendant only has the state minimum policy of $20,000.00. However, you have coverage of $100,000.00 per person. This means you can recover $100,000.00 for your injury ($20,000.00 from the defendant’s policy and $80,000.00 from your own).

Example 2: your damages total $150,000.00 but the defendant has a policy of $100,000.00 per person. However, you have coverage of $100,000.00 per person. Since both policies have the same limits this means you can only recover $100,000.00 for your injury, from the defendant.

CONNECTICUT:

State minimum policy: $25,000.00 per person, $50,000.00 per occurrence.

Connecticut requires all drivers to carry UM/UIM coverage. However, Connecticut, similar to Massachusetts, does not allow for stacking.

Do I Have the Right Coverage?

Now that you are armed with the knowledge about your state’s minimums and stacking next you have to ask yourself if you have the right coverage. To know what type of coverage you have just simply ask your insurance carrier for a copy of your declarations page to see what type of coverage you have and what your limits are. If you only have the state minimum and you can afford to increase your coverage, strongly consider it. If you have greater than the state minimum but still feel it is not enough than increase your coverage. If you have the maximum coverage but are still worried then consider getting a personal umbrella policy.

If you are still unsure about what coverage is right for you speak with your insurance agent and they will help you to find the policy/coverage that is right for you.