“The devil is in the detail." We’ve all heard that quote used for saying that something may seem simple, but in fact the details can be complicated and cause problems if you aren’t paying attention. Here are a few examples of details that you want to pay attention to before you sign the Massachusetts auto insurance application.
Where is the car garaged? Certain cities are more expensive than others to insure a car in. But don’t think you can say that you keep it at your parent's in Small Town, MA to save some money. The insurance company knows where you pay your excise tax. If you fail to give the correct information on your insurance application (or if there are changes during the policy term) the insurance company may refuse to pay claims under any of the Optional Insurance parts of the policy and limit payments for some Compulsory coverage.
Who are “household members” and why do they matter to the insurance company? The term “household members” is mentioned in the MA auto policy at least 52 times! The insurance companies must think this is an important topic. According to the MA auto policy, a household member is anyone living in your household who is related to you by blood, marriage or adoption. This includes wards, step-children or foster children. Since household members are covered by your auto policy, the insurance company needs to know who they are so they can rate the policy. Household members and others who customarily drive your car will have an affect on your premium and are required to be listed on your policy. Again, if you fail to give the correct information on your insurance application (or if there are changes during the policy term) the insurance company may refuse to pay claims under any of the Optional Insurance parts of the policy and limit payments for some Compulsory coverage.
Optional Insurance is “optional” so why should I buy it? Well, take Optional Bodily Injury to Others (Part 5) for example. While similar to Part 1, it will also pay damages for accidents outside of Massachusetts or on private property. Living in a small state like Massachusetts, you probably will at least cross the border into New Hampshire, Connecticut or Rhode Island on occasion. And we all drive on private driveways or in privately owned parking lots. If you injure or kill someone in the grocery store parking lot, you are not covered unless you have Optional Bodily Injury! It’s probably not worth the risk to save a few bucks and not have the coverage you may need.
Details, details! Always review your application with your agent before you sign and make sure you contact your agent later on if you are aware of any changes to information on your application. Make sure that your policy covers you when you need it!