Are You Really Covered?
Part 7 and 8: Optional Collision Coverage and Optional Limited Collision Coverage
We continue our series on the twelve parts of the Massachusetts automobile insurance policy by discussing the benefits and drawbacks of these next two parts. Parts 7 and 8 of a Massachusetts auto insurance policy are closely related and consumers will typically choose one or the other. As we’ve mentioned throughout our series, the minimum levels of insurance will likely not provide you with enough coverage in the event of a serious accident and for your protection, we encourage you to purchase as much insurance as you can afford.
Part 7: Optional Collision Coverage
Part 7 of the standard Massachusetts automobile insurance policy pays for damage to your vehicle that is caused by the physical contact of your car with another object, be that another car or a stationary object such as a telephone pole. Part 7 provides repair coverage regardless of who may be at fault for the accident, up to the actual cash value of your vehicle. This part includes a deductible amount before the actual coverage kicks in, which is the amount you must pay out-of-pocket if you are deemed “at fault” for the accident. Most policies include a default deductible amount of $500 per accident, although the deductible can be raised for an increased premium to, for example, $1,000 per accident. If you are deemed to have been more than 50% at fault for the accident, Part 7 coverage will still be paid, but will be subject to the deductible you have selected. If someone else was more than 50% responsible for the accident, your deductible, regardless of the amount, will generally be waived.
Part 8: Optional Limited Collision Coverage
In contrast to Part 7, this part of the Massachusetts automobile insurance policy only pays for damage to your vehicle if (a) you are not deemed to have been 50% or more “at fault” for the accident, and (b) you are able to identify the driver of the vehicle who was found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident. Situations in which Part 8 might pay for damage include if your car was parked at the time of the accident, or if you were rear-ended by another vehicle. This part of the policy is not nearly as popular or robust as the more complete collision coverage provided under Part 7. The cost of collision coverage can be expensive depending on past driving history and Part 8 was created to provide the vehicle owner with a less expensive option to at least provide some measure of coverage, provided the two conditions described above are met. If possible, however, we recommend that you purchase Part 7 instead of Part 8 to provide more robust coverage.