By Bob Katzen

The House gave initial approval to a bill requiring drivers to carry a $100,000 death benefit as part of their auto insurance coverage. The $100,000 would be used to pay the estate of any person killed by the negligence of a driver in cases where a decedent is survived by a minor child, spouse or dependent.

Supporters said under current law, the amount of “bodily injury” insurance coverage used to compensate the families of those killed in automobile accidents maxes out at $20,000 — an amount insufficient to provide adequate support to surviving family members after the victim ’s legal and medical costs are paid.

“This bill will help the spouses, minor children or dependents of victims of fatal motor vehicle accidents by providing significantly more financial support than current law allows,” said sponsor Rep. Alice Peisch (D-Wellesley). “Recognizing

that money does not fill in for the loss of a loved one, it is my hope that some additional compensation can ease some of the financial strain caused by these tragic events.”

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