As most of us learned in school, Massachusetts was one of the original 13 colonies in the U.S. You may also remember Plymouth Rock, where the pilgrims landed. That’s also in Massachusetts, although much smaller than its original size. The state is rife with history, including hosting the first Thanksgiving and being the scene of Paul Revere’s famous ride, not to mention a little scuffle over taxes that ended up with a bunch of tea in Boston Harbor. There’s not a much better mecca for history buffs.
For nature lovers and outdoorsy types, Massachusetts also offers plenty, including 150 state parks (that include beaches, lakes, forests and mountains), whale watching, lighthouses and fishing. For those who love a good ghost tale, there’s a cornucopia of places to visit, including a haunted forest (Freetown-Fall River State Forest), the site of the Salem witch trials and Lizzie Borden’s home in Fall Rover, MA.
Residents must purchase car insurance in Massachusetts before they can legally drive on the roads. Keep reading to find out how to find cheap auto coverage in Massachusetts, as well as how to find discounts, the average cost of coverage and what the penalties are for driving without insurance.
- There were 322 fatal traffic crashes in 2020 in Massachusetts.
- Massachusetts is a “no-fault” car accident state. This means your insurance company covers your property bills up to your limit, regardless of who is at fault in the accident.
How Much is Car Insurance in Massachusetts?
Extreme traffic congestion generally leads to pricey fender bender accidents. So with Boston leading the way in terms of congestion, you might assume that cheap car insurance in Massachusetts is as rare as tea drinkers after the Boston Tea Party.
But you’d be wrong.
With $446 the annual average for state-required minimum coverage, the state ranks surprisingly low in average insurance costs compared to other states. The average cost of full coverage car insurance in Massachusetts is $1,296 per year. Here’s how the Bay State ranks against a handful of other states selected because of either their geographic proximity to Massachusetts or because they have cities similarly densely populated as Boston and the state’s other major cities. The state of Iowa is also included to compare Massachusetts’ rates with one of the nation’s lowest car insurance rates.
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Full Coverage Insurance Rates by City in Massachusetts
Another way of looking at insurance costs is by taking a more localized perspective. Here are the average monthly full and minimum car insurance rates that drivers pay in 20 Massachusetts’ cities. Full coverage consists of liability (required by the state), plus further protections for the owner in the form of collision coverage and comprehensive insurance.
Notice the cost disparity between Waltham, with the cheapest car insurance among these Massachusetts and Springfield, with the highest average rates. This means drivers can save or spend additional money on their car coverage premium per year simply based on where they live.
Full coverage car insurance provides you with more safety features for you, your family and your property no matter where you live.
These rates are also due to numerous factors, including local accident and car theft statistics. Bottom line – it shows the rather significant impact of your address on car insurance rates.
How Do Average Rates Compare Across Major Cities in Massachusetts?
Where you live plays an important part in how much your car insurance costs. Places where the crime rate is higher and more people file personal injury lawsuits will see overall higher insurance premiums.
Keep in mind that these are overall rates, based on an average of costs received by all drivers. Your gender, age, driving record, and a multitude of other factors could result in you receiving a much higher or lower quote from your insurer. Your location also matters, as you will see below.
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Few Uninsured Motorists in MA
Of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ranks number two in the fewest uninsured motorists. Harsh penalties are one of the reasons that Massachusetts ranks so low in its percentage of uninsured motorists. The penalty, if caught, can be pretty stiff. A first offense can include a $500 fine, a 60-day license suspension, and a $500 license reinstatement fee. You could even face up to a year in jail. From the second offense on, the fine is $5,000 and the license suspension can last for one year.
Obviously from the statistics, Massachusetts drivers are listening. Plus, Massachusetts requires its drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage in the amounts of $20,000 per person in a wreck and $40,000 per accident total.
Unless otherwise specified, we use the following methodology to arrive at our average cost: male, age 30, lowest possible legal coverage allowed by Massachusetts. Your rates will be determined by several factors, including your age, your gender and the amount of coverage you want to purchase.
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What Factors Influence Car Insurance Rates in Massachusetts?
It’s not just geography that determines what you might pay for car insurance in this state. Here are some of the leading factors insurers use to set rates for your auto insurance in Massachusetts.
- Gender — Males traditionally pay more for coverage based on getting more moving violations, on average. They’re also likelier than female drivers to get into accidents of all kinds.
- Age — Younger drivers, especially males, tend to drive more recklessly on average and get higher accident rates as a result. Rates go down as drivers age, as long as their driving records are clean.
- Driving records — Speeding tickets, vehicular accidents, and especially drinking and driving can have a serious impact on the rates car insurers charge for coverage — if they even offer coverage at all. The good news is that penalty points for these “high risk” drivers are eventually deleted from drivers’ records. So, if you’re paying higher insurance rates now as a result of poor decisions in the past, practicing safe driving now will clean your record up in time and you can earn much lower premium rates.
- DUI convictions — Drivers can pay up to about $1,000 a year more for their insurance if they have a “driving under the influence” conviction. Shopping around for cheap DUI insurance in Massachusetts is a good place to start. Learn how to start on the road to reclaiming a clean driving record and eventually lower insurance rates after a DUI.
- Age, model, and condition of the vehicle — Some models of cars tend to draw tickets because police notice them more or they’re typically driven faster by younger drivers. Others can be more expensive to repair after an accident or they get stolen with greater frequency. For a multitude of reasons, some vehicles simply cost more to insure. By the same token, other car models cost less to insure. If you get a car insurance cost estimate before you buy your next ride, it could save you plenty in insurance premium costs down the road.
What are the Mandatory Car Insurance Requirements in Massachusetts?
Auto insurance is mandatory to be able to register your vehicle in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It’s a no-fault state, which means that the driver’s own insurance company pays for allowed damages, regardless of who was at fault for the collision or other damaging event.
The Commonwealth’s minimum car insurance requirements include liability among these four compulsory coverages:
- Bodily Injury Liability to Others — This covers the insured driver or another party who is permitted to drive the vehicle if the driver accidentally injures or causes the death of others. The coverage protects the insured driver from legal liability to a limit of $20,000 per person injured or killed and up to $40,000 if more than one person is impacted.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) — This covers medical expenses, up to 75% of lost wages, and replacement services totaling as much as $8,000, regardless of who caused the accident. PIP covers the insured driver or anyone permitted to drive the covered vehicle, anyone living in the driver’s household who’s injured, passengers in the vehicle, and any injured pedestrians.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage — This coverage protects the insured driver, anyone permitted to drive the vehicle, and household members and passengers (who are not covered under another similar Massachusetts policy) against losses caused by an uninsured driver or an unidentified hit-and-run driver. The Commonwealth requires the purchase of a minimum of $20,000 in coverage per person, and $40,000 total for everyone injured.
- Property Damage Liability — In a no-fault state, this pays for vehicle damage caused by a covered event, regardless of who is at fault. Minimum policy coverage requirements for Property Damage are $5,000.
The above is the package of benefits that every policy for Massachusetts drivers must contain, at a bare minimum.
What is the Penalty for Driving Without Insurance in Massachusetts?
As in most states, driving without insurance in Massachusetts may carry some hefty penalties, including even jail time in certain circumstances. This offense, as well as some others, such as DUI, may also require you to file an SR-22 certificate. This notifies any potential insurer that you may be a high-risk driver and your rates may reflect that designation. Here are some of the penalties for driving without insurance in Massachusetts:
- Fines – You could be responsible for paying a fine of between $500 and $5,000. This could go higher if you are caught multiple times.
- Lost driving privileges – A conviction for this offense will result in your driving privileges being revoked for 60 days (longer after two or more offenses). Your registration may also be suspended.
- Reinstatement – In order to get your driver’s license or registration reinstated, you must pay a fine of between $100 and $1,200.
Purchasing a policy is a much cheaper route to go in Massachusetts.
Optional Coverage for Massachusetts Drivers
While the above minimum insurance coverage meets the Commonwealth’s requirements for having car insurance, it often fails to come even close to meeting your own financial needs in the event of an accident.
That’s where full coverage insurance comes in. These non-mandatory benefits can include the following:
- Collision coverage — This type of coverage is pretty much what it sounds like. It covers your vehicle if you’re in an accident either with another car or as the result of single-vehicle damage. This might be due to a rollover crash or the damage incurred from running into a stationary object such as a tree, building, or fence.
- Comprehensive coverage — It’s not just car accidents that can damage your vehicle. Comprehensive coverage benefits kick in if, for example, you hit a deer or your vehicle is damaged or destroyed by fire, flood, theft, or vandalism.
- Additional coverage for bodily injury to others — You might raise this financial payout from the minimum to $35,000 for one person, or $80,000 for everyone hurt in a car accident. This additional policy element also covers you if the accident happens outside of Massachusetts.
- Medical payments coverage — You can purchase claims benefits of $5,000 or more for reasonable expenses due to bodily injury and funeral services for anyone in your auto that was killed from an accident, or if you or a household member is struck by an auto or while in someone else’s car at the time of an accident.
- Additional coverages — Different insurance companies can offer a wide range of benefits for an additional cost. These can include rental car coverage while your car is being serviced under a comprehensive or collision claim, coverage for towing and labor when your car breaks down, roadside assistance, gap insurance – to pay off your auto loan if the car is totaled or stolen and you owe more than its depreciated value. You can even get pet coverage for your four-legged friend.
Keep in mind, of course, that your insurance rates will increase — sometimes significantly — for these additional options. That’s why it’s important to discuss your needs (or wants) with your insurance agent and find out your rates at various levels of coverage.
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How to Save as Much as Possible on Car Insurance in Massachusetts
Getting better rates on your car insurance, unfortunately, isn’t as simple as negotiating back and forth until you settle on a price, as you might do while buying a car. State insurance commissions make sure that rates are standardized and insurance underwriters weigh the risk of insuring you to come up with a premium amount.
However, there are many variables in the transaction and multiple ways to get better rates based on your driving record and the construction of the policy you obtain. Here are some of the leading things you can do to earn your most optimal rate on coverage.
Drive responsibly. Always. As we’ve mentioned, your driving record is probably the number one determining factor in the quote you’ll receive — and one of the factors you can control. Better driving means cheaper car insurance. It’s that simple.
Pay your bills on time. Your credit report numbers matter. The cleaner your record, the likelier you’ll qualify for cheap car insurance in Massachusetts. Also, keep in mind that if those numbers don’t look pretty now, you can improve them over time by making better financial decisions starting now.
Go insurance shopping while you’re car shopping. Don’t sign anything at the car dealership until you’ve called your insurance agent. Since some vehicles cost a whole lot more (or less) to insure than others, the rate you pay could make a sizable difference in your real costs of car ownership.
Increase your deductible. This figure represents the amount of money you’ll pay first before your insurance provider assumes payment for damages. So if you have a $500 deductible, you’ll pay this part of a $4,000 bill for bodywork, and then your claim will pay the remaining $3,500. The higher the deductible you assume, the lower your policy rates. Of course, don’t go so high on your deductible that you can’t afford to pay your portion if you have an accident.
Look into reducing coverage on an older vehicle. You might have unhesitatingly plunked down your dollars for full coverage when your ride was new. But now that it’s a lot older and a bit banged up, maybe it’s time to cut back to minimum coverage. You might not get collision and comprehensive coverage, but you’ll certainly save money.
Find out even more that you can easily do to earn the best rates possible on your car insurance in Massachusetts. You’ll be glad you took the time.
Are There Good Driver Discounts in Massachusetts?
Yes, there are plenty of good driver discounts available in Massachusetts, as well as discounts for a variety of other items. Many discounts are based on your driving habits, while others are based on a demographic group you may belong to, such as former or current members of the military. Your insurer should reward you for making their administrative work easier, too. Here are some available ways to save money by requesting a discount. Don’t forget to check in with your agent if your circumstances change. You may be eligible for new discounts.
FAQs About Massachusetts Car Insurance
I Am a Low-Income Driver. What Can I Do About Getting Car Insurance in Massachusetts?
Low-income drivers can benefit from seeking the state’s minimum insurance requirements. Other ways to save on car insurance include purchasing an older vehicle and calling your agent to learn of any discounts. Note, any discounts require that your account remains in good standing for a number of years. Some discounts are tenure-based, while others are performance-based.
Can an Undocumented Worker Get Car Insurance in Massachusetts?
It can be difficult to get, but the short answer is that some insurers will issue car insurance to someone who does not have a valid driver’s license. Most insurers will require a valid driver’s license. You cannot legally drive without a driver’s license in Massachusetts, but you can purchase car insurance for someone else who is legally able to drive in Massachusetts.
There is a push underway in the Massachusetts Legislature to make it legal for undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license. Part of the reason for this is to relieve crowding on public transportation during the pandemic. The state would also realize more revenue if it chooses to let undocumented people get a driver’s license.
At any rate, it’s recommended that undocumented workers begin the process to become legal residents.
Is It Possible to Get Car Insurance in Massachusetts With a DUI Mark on my Record?
Yes, Massachusetts drivers with a DUI on record can still obtain auto insurance. Massachusetts is one of a few states that does not require an SR-22 proof of insurance after a DUI conviction. However, if you have an issue in another state, even if you are a resident of Massachusetts, you may need to file SR-22 form there since Massachusetts does share information with other DMVs nationwide.
You can find cheap car insurance within your budget even with a DUI conviction on your record. You may need to shop around because not all insurance agencies offer DUI solution coverage. Be sure to discuss your driving history with your insurance agent before you select a policy.
There are stiff penalties in Massachusetts, even for a first-time DUI offense. Repeat convicted offenders are required to install an ignition interlock. Expect to face possible jail time on top of a suspension of driving privileges for varying lengths of time depending on age and number of offenses. You will be required to attend a defensive driving course and you will pay substantial fees and fines. A DUI conviction remains on your record forever.
Massachusetts Drivers, Get a Quote Today
If you’ve learned just one thing by reading this, it’s that it’s possible to qualify for cheap car insurance in Massachusetts. Fortunately, Freeway Insurance is here and eager to help you in that pursuit. Simply call Freeway Insurance at (800) 777-5620 for an affordable rate quote today, get a two-minute quote online right now or visit us at one of our local offices.