In Kleycamp v. USAA Casualty Ins. Co., 86 Mass. App. Ct. 1113, 2014 WL 4799608 (unpublished), the Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed summary judgment to a defendant insurer that had not recommended that the plaintiffs purchase underinsured coverage with their auto policy.
The plaintiffs had never specifically inquired of the insurer about underinsured coverage, and the insurer never made any specific assertions or representations about the adequacy of the plaintiffs' coverage.
The court noted that the general rule in Massachusetts is that insurers and their agents do not have a general duty to recommend insurance coverage, or to guarantee that insurance policies are adequate for a particular insured's needs. There is an exception only for special circumstances, such as reliance on specific assertions or representations concerning the adequacy of coverage.
In a footnote the court noted that the same analysis might not apply to homeowner's policies.
In my view, underinsured and uninsured coverages are among the most important insurance you can buy. They can't protect you against the risk that another driver's carelessness will injure you; but they do protect you against the risk that that careless driver doesn't have enough insurance to cover your injuries.