Uninsured and Underinsured Auto Coverage Explained!

Insurance can be confusing! We have found that one of the more confusing types of coverage for auto insurance is Uninsured and Underinsured coverage. In Massachusetts Uninsured coverage is compulsory with limits of $20,000/$40,000 and Underinsured coverage is optional. From our experience we feel that limits of $100,000/$300,000 should be the minimum to carry for both Uninsured and Underinsured coverage (Parts 3, 5 and 12 of your auto policy should all be the same, so we recommend the $100,000/$300,000 limits for all three parts).


The Uninsured and Underinsured limits can cover: medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. Consequently, the higher limits are recommended.

If another driver hits and injures you and does not carry auto insurance your limits of $100,000/$300,000 for Uninsured coverage will apply. Medical costs quickly add up and you don’t want to end up paying out of pocket. If you are out of work for an extended period of time these higher limits will allow you to collect sufficient wages that would otherwise be lost with low limits.

If another driver only has low limits such as $20,000/$40,000 for Bodily Injury and he/she causes the accident you may not receive enough money to cover the injuries you sustained. Once again the medical costs and lost wages will most likely exceed $20,000/$40,000 limits. Therefore, your coverage would apply after their limits were met – Underinsured coverage.

You are involved in a hit and run accident, then your Uninsured coverage limits will apply if someone sustains bodily injury. The state minimum limits of $20,000 may not be sufficient.

Uninsured and Underinsured coverage is relatively inexpensive, so it is wise to increase Bodily Injury Coverage in the event of a major accident caused by another vehicle with no or little coverage.

We hope that you now have a better understanding of how Uninsured and Underinsured coverage works and what limits are best for your protection. If you have any further questions, please call us! www.mancuso-nowak.com.

Black Ice – Know the Facts

Winter in New England can bring us treacherous driving conditions.  We can see the 1ft of snow outside when we get a big snow storm and can be prepared.  However, we don’t always know if there is black ice on the roads.  Black ice is not actually black, it is clear so you can’t see it on the roads.  It gets its name from its ability to blend into its surroundings.  Black ice has less water bubbles in it making it harder to spot.  It could look like wet spots on the road.

Black ice forms when snow or ice melts then refreezes.  This can happen with fluctuations in temperature in the winter.  It could be very sunny during the day and the snow melts.  Then at night into early morning the puddles of water from the melting snow freeze.  Black ice can also form when it’s raining out and the temperature is below 32 degrees.  The most common areas for black ice are shaded areas, bridges and back roads.

Here are a few tips on handling black ice while driving:

  • Have good tires on your vehicle with excellent treads.  Winter tires are the best.
  • Drive slowly in uncertain road conditions.
  • If you hit a patch of black ice decelerate, take your foot off the gas.
  • Never slam on your breaks when you hit ice.
  • Do not pump the brakes if you have anti-lock breaks, the breaking system pumps them for you.
  • Do not jerk the wheel just keep your car pointed in the direction you want to go.
  • If you start skidding on the ice gently steer into the skid.
  • If your car starts to lose control head for an area of traction like grass or snow.

Black ice is very deceptive.  The best way to handle black ice in the winter is to be prepared for it.  Watch the weather and temperature outside.  And most importantly drive slowly!