It always amazes me when a car accident victim comes to my office and eventually shows me their Declarations Page which identifies their own automobile insurance coverages. They may have purchased large coverage for property damage [for their own vehicle] but, unfortunately more times than not, they have no, or minimal, underinsurance coverage.
Underinsurance coverage is optional [Part 12 on your Declarations Page] and you can elect not to buy any. However, that is a mistake– it is not too expensive and it is the coverage which will protect you [or maybe a household member] in the event you get in an accident and the at-fault party does not have sufficient insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries. Please note that there is a set-off from the available Bodily Injury [“BI”] Limits which the at-fault party has, meaning that if you have $50,000.00 in Underinsurance Benefits and the at-fault party has only the minimum legally-required BI coverage here in MA, i.e., $20,000.00, you will be entitled to collect up to $30,000.00 from your own underinsurance carrier. Therefore, be aware that purchasing $20,000.00 in underinsurance benefits provides little, to no, insurance protection for you.
Talk to your insurance agent about purchasing underinsurance benefits- price it out and I think you will be surprised how affordable it is [as well as the advantages of having it]. In addition, you can always speak with an experienced tort attorney who specializes in insurance law to make sure that you and your family are adequately protected.