Massachusetts, like most other states, requires that drivers and vehicle owners carry a minimum amount of auto insurance. If you’re planning to register a vehicle in the Bay State, you’ll need to be aware of what those minimums are.
Here’s what you need to do to keep your car legal whether you’re driving up to Cape Cod or exploring downtown Boston.
Massachusetts Car Insurance Minimum Coverage
When you insure a vehicle in Massachusetts, you should be prepared to purchase more protection than you would in some other states. While some states require only minimal liability insurance, Massachusetts law states that you must carry the following:
- Bodily injury liability coverage: $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.
- Property damage coverage: $5,000.
- Uninsured or underinsured bodily injury liability coverage: $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.
- Personal injury protection: $8,000.
When you purchase Massachusetts car insurance, you can choose insurance that covers either an individual driver or the entire household. The option you choose will obviously impact the premiums you pay each month, quarter, or year.
What is the Average Cost of Car Insurance in Massachusetts?
Depending on the driver, the average cost of car insurance in Massachusetts is $510 annually for minimum coverage and around $1220 for full coverage.
As you likely know, the cost of your insurance is dependent upon several factors. When you apply for auto insurance your agent should take into account your:
- Driving history
- Marital status
- Coverage preferences
Be sure to ask your agent if you qualify for any discounts. For instance, you may get a percentage off if you enroll in paperless billing or auto-payments. Your associations with non-profits, financial institutions or other organizations can also net you a discount on your Massachusetts car insurance.
Why is Car Insurance So Cheap in Massachusetts?
If you’re moving to Massachusetts from a state that has expensive car insurance, you may be wondering why you’re seeing such a decrease in your premiums.
Massachusetts car insurance is more inexpensive than some other states because it’s a no-fault state. There are also proportionately fewer drivers on the road in Massachusetts due to an abundance of public transportation.
Factors that may increase your car insurance premiums include the weather (Massachusetts sees a lot of ice and snow in the winter, as well as storms in the summer) and crime. Drivers who live in cities like Springfield or Holyoke experience much higher crime than residents of other cities. Therefore, they may see higher insurance rates.
Lapses in Massachusetts Car Insurance
If you’re registering a car in the Old Colony State, you’ll need to make absolutely certain that your car insurance is kept up to date. Lapses in your car insurance can lead to some serious penalties for you.
If you’re caught driving without insurance for the first time, you will either face fines of up to $500 or will be forced to pay for a year’s worth of insurance upfront, whichever costs more. You’ll also face the possibility of losing your license and registration for a month with a cost of an additional $500 to reinstate it. In some cases, you could spend up to a year in jail.
Subsequent offenses come with harsher penalties. Fines may cost you up to $5,000 and a year’s worth of insurance. You will still face the possibilities of losing your license and registration, and of jail time.
Best Auto Insurance in Massachusetts
Massachusetts drivers were asked to rank their favorite car insurance companies in terms of affordability, coverage, and service. The top five ranked auto insurance companies were listed as:
- State Farm
- Western Mass
Remember that your auto insurance needs may differ from those of the drivers surveyed. Shop around online and ask friends for recommendations of insurers they love.
Driving in Massachusetts
Interested in learning more about the laws in Massachusetts, and about driving around the state in general? Here are some facts you may be interested to learn about the Codfish State.
- It is illegal for a gorilla to be a passenger in the back seat of a vehicle in Massachusetts.
- You do not have to stop for red lights in the state unless the light is flashing.
- In 1897, the first subway system in the United States was built in Boston.
- There are 4,765,586 licensed drivers in the state of Massachusetts.
Conclusion: Auto Insurance in Massachusetts
As with most other states in the nation, Massachusetts drivers are required to purchase car insurance in order to register a vehicle. Be sure you keep your insurance up to date and current to avoid legal trouble and possible loss of your license.