Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Massachusetts: Do You Need It?

Find out if you're getting ripped off on your car insurance in less than two minutes.
No long forms · No spam · No fees
Cassandra Hamilton
· 8 min read
While you don’t need to carry underinsured motorist coverage or uninsured motorist property damage coverage in
, you do need uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. 
Even though
car insurance
doesn’t have to be expensive, some drivers go without it. As a driver in Massachusetts, there’s always a chance of getting into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. That’s why most states, like Massachusetts, require insured drivers to carry an additional policy known as uninsured motorist coverage.
The laws around this type of coverage vary between each state, which is why the
trustworthy licensed insurance broker
and all-around super app
has created this guide on the regulations and legislation on uninsured motorist coverage in Massachusetts.

Do you need uninsured motorist coverage in Massachusetts?

You need to buy
uninsured motorist coverage
if you drive in Massachusetts.
The good news is that Massachusetts is one of the states with the lowest instances of uninsured drivers on the road according to the
Insurance Information Institute
. Only 3.5% of drivers are uninsured, making the state 50th in the nation for uninsured drivers. 
That being said, the number of uninsured drivers isn’t zero—meaning there’s still a chance you can get into an accident with an uninsured driver. In fact, you run a one in 28 chance of hitting an uninsured driver in Massachusetts.
When you combine this statistic with the drivers who only purchase
liability insurance
, your risk of hitting a driver whose insurance won’t cover your costs increases.
Purchasing underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) on top of your uninsured motorist coverage (UM) can save you a lot of money in the long run. This is a beneficial insurance add-on that picks up where the other driver’s liability insurance stops and pays for medical expenses after an accident.
The good news is that UM/UIM coverage is affordable. Combined, both policies cost an average of $50 to $100 per year to add to your policy, but your individual rate might be different.
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms
Find insurance savings

How uninsured motorist insurance works in Massachusetts

Let’s take a closer look at UM in Massachusetts. Liability insurance in Massachusetts covers $20,000 of
bodily injury liability
per person and $40,000 of bodily injury liability per accident, both of which cover medical expenses. It also includes $5,000 of
property damage liability
, which would cover repairs, but you’re not required to carry uninsured motorist property damage coverage. 
You can keep your overall car insurance costs down by leaving it at the minimum coverage required by
Massachusetts insurance laws
, but accidents can quickly get expensive. Most cars, either new or used, are easily worth more than the property damage limit covered by
liability insurance
, meaning the minimum alone will leave you with a major bill in the event of a total loss. 
Additionally, even minor to moderate injuries can exceed the $40,000 limit set by your liability policy. This is especially true if multiple people were hurt. A serious injury, on the other hand, will cost far more than the limit set by Massachusetts law.

What’s available?

There are two types of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage available in Massachusetts:
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage (UM/UIMBI) takes care of your medical expenses if you’re in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage (UM/UIMPD) covers any repairs to property damaged by uninsured or underinsured drivers.
While you’re not required to carry uninsured motorist property damage coverage, it’s a good idea to purchase this additional coverage because an accident’s costs can quickly exceed the minimum coverage on a Massachusetts policy—only $5,000. 
In general, it’s a good idea to purchase additional UM/UIMBI and UM/UIMPD coverage because of how quickly accident costs add up. It’s also a good idea to purchase
full-coverage insurance
rather than the minimum liability coverage. 
Remember that there is a six-year statute of limitations on uninsured or underinsured claims. You’ll have to
file your claim
within that timeframe to get the funds you’re owed.

What does it cover?

UM/UIM bodily injury coverage will pay for medical expenses for you and your passengers, but we can break that down further.
While ER bills and surgery costs might spring to mind, there are additional costs to think about when it comes to accident injuries. The following are also covered by UM/UIM insurance:
  • Medical expenses that arise in the future
  • Assistive devices, such as a wheelchair
  • Making a residence more accessible to accommodate a disability caused by the accident
  • Yard work, cleaning, and other necessary activities
  • Pain and suffering
    depending on the case
  • Lost wages or time off work
  • Long-term rehabilitative or nursing care
The last thing you want to worry about if you or a loved one are injured in a car accident is how you’re going to pay for high medical costs. This is why UM/UIM coverage is so important for covering your costs after an accident in Massachusetts.

How to make a claim 

After a car accident
, the first thing you’ll want to do is call 911. Then, you’ll need to exchange information with the other drivers involved in the accident. Make sure you also exchange insurance information. 
If you or a passenger are injured and the responsible party doesn’t have car insurance, you’ll need to file a UM claim.
Thankfully, filing a UM claim is straightforward. You call your insurance company, explain the circumstances, and hand over the necessary documentation, like medical records, accident reports, and bills from the hospital or your doctor. Hang on to all the documents you receive after an accident—it’ll be easy to evaluate your case if you have a lot of information.
If it so happens that your costs end up exceeding your UM insurance, you will have to foot the remaining bill with your health insurance or another means of payment.

Why it’s a good idea to buy additional uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance in Massachusetts

Of course, no one wants to pay extra for car insurance. Additional coverage is more expensive than the Massachusetts minimum, after all. At Jerry, we get it—we were created, after all, to
find cheaper car insurance costs
But when it comes to coverage, you sometimes need to think beyond your short-term expenses. Here’s a quick summary of why you should purchase additional coverage.

Required coverage in Massachusetts is low

Even though Massachusetts doesn’t require underinsured motorist coverage, it’s still a good idea to add it to your policy. While data isn’t available on the number of drivers who purchase liability alone, we can safely assume there are many motorists who are looking to save on their costs by skimping on coverage. 
Massachusetts’s minimum coverage of 20/40/5 might not be enough to cover your expenses if you get into an accident with an underinsured driver. Some people choose to go with a personal injury lawsuit in these instances, but they can be expensive, leaving you with a fraction of your payout. While the initial consultation is usually free, these lawsuits come with steep legal fees.

Hit-and-run accidents leave you vulnerable

If you’re a victim of a hit-and-run accident, your UM/UIM coverage can help.
While Massachusetts falls outside the top 10 states with the highest rates of hit-and-run accidents, the chance of one still exists. If you’re in an accident like this, you won’t be able to file a hit-and-run insurance claim with the responsible party’s provider—they left before they could give you any information! Insurance doesn’t always cover the costs after a hit-and-run accident. 
If you want damages and medical bills covered after a
Massachusetts hit-and-run
, you’ll need to carry UM/UIM coverage, collision coverage, or
personal injury protection

Up to 1 in 28 Massachusetts drivers is uninsured

There’s a 1 in 28 chance of getting into an accident with an uninsured driver in Massachusetts. It’s even more likely that you’ll get into an accident with an underinsured driver.
Massachusetts isn’t a top state for uninsured drivers, but that doesn’t mean you face zero risk. That’s why the state requires UM coverage—and the high cost of accidents means you should purchase additional coverage on that policy.

How to save on uninsured motorist coverage in Massachusetts

Many drivers in Massachusetts opt for the minimum level of UM coverage to cut back on costs, but upgrading your policy could be as inexpensive as an extra $100 per year.
If that’s not enough to convince you, maybe downloading the
app will. Jerry is
a licensed insurance broker
who can save you hundreds per year on your car insurance premium—even with additional coverage.
Let Jerry work its network of over 55 insurance companies to find out what kind of money you could be saving. The average user saves over $800 per year or more on their coverage and it only takes 45 seconds to find
cheap insurance quotes
to browse. Jerry even handles the paperwork and helps you cancel your old policy—it really couldn’t be easier. 
“I usually don’t leave reviews, but this app was amazing! I’m young and wanted a nice car, so I thought insurance companies would charge me extra. But
chopped my usual payments in half! Thanks, Jerry.” —Gabby E.
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
This app is great, but the customer service is even better! Not to mention convenient! My husband and I got the lowest rate (much lower than the rates I was finding online through my own searches), quickly, and pretty much all through text message! Thank you so much for a hassle free experience👍
Gabriella R.
Find insurance savings
rating primary
4.7/5 Rating on App Store
Compare Car Insurance Quotes For Free
Jerry automatically shops for your insurance before every renewal. Members save $872/year.
rating primary
Rating on App Store
Start saving money!
12,000+ Reviews
Trusted by 3.5M car owners like you

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings