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Massachusetts Car Insurance

Illustration of a car driving down a road next to a field with a highway banner that reads

Are you living in or thinking of visiting Beantown? Boston has, by far, the largest population in Massachusetts. It’s got almost four times more people than second-place Worcester. That’s one reason you’ll find yourself in traffic when you hit the road here. Boston had the most congestion in the country in 2018, 2019, and 2020, based on time lost by drivers in traffic during peak hours.

You might think that Los Angeles would have won that dubious “honor,” and L.A. is the most congested city by vehicle count, but it loses to Boston and a handful of other U.S. cities in terms of time lost idling in cars during drive time. In fact, Boston has been named the eighth-most traffic-congested city in the world. So be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get from place to place, whether you live here or are visiting.

Quick Facts

  • There were 321 fatal traffic crashes in 2019, with 334 people dying.
  • Massachusetts is a “no-fault” car accident state. This means your insurance company covers your medical 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 $510 the annual state average for minimum coverage, the state ranks surprisingly low in average insurance costs compared to other states. 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 the nation’s lowest car insurance rates.

Keep in mind that these are overall rates, based on an average of charges 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.

State Average minimum coverage rates
New York $1,062
Michigan $948
New Jersey $847
Rhode Island $749
California $733
Washington D.C. $704
Massachusetts $510
Illinois $442
New Hampshire $389
Iowa $252

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 full coverage car insurance rates that drivers pay in 20 Massachusetts’ cities, from lowest average rates to highest.

Notice the cost disparity between Waltham, with the cheapest car insurance among these Massachusetts cities at $1,285, and Dorchester, with the highest average rates for full coverage at $2,253. This means drivers can save or spend an additional  $1,000 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.

City Annual Full Coverage Rate
Waltham $1,285
Cambridge $1,300
Framingham $1,316
Chicopee $1,321
Haverhill $1,324
Plymouth $1,332
Lowell $1,362
Medford $1,435
Quincy $1,437
Somerville $1,479
Boston $1,554
New Bedford $1,567
Fall River $1,569
Worcester $1,575
Springfield $1,695
Lawrence $1,698
Malden $1,775
Lynn $1,845
Brockton $1,995
Dorchester $2,253

Few Uninsured Motorists

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.

Getting a Free Auto Insurance quote with Freeway is easy!

Other Factors Influencing 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. 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.

Minimum Coverage Car Insurance 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.

Many states mandate that minimum coverage must include liability coverage that pays the medical expenses and other costs for other drivers, passengers, or pedestrians injured in an accident caused by the insured driver.

The Commonwealth’s minimum car insurance requirements include liability among these four compulsory coverages:

Bodily Injury 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.

Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Auto — 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 (Damage to Someone Else’s Property) — This pays when the insured driver, a household member, or another driver allowed to use the car causes vehicle cause accidental damage to another person’s property. 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.

Full Coverage Policies for Massachusetts Drivers Add Collision and Comprehensive Coverage

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.

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.

Bundle vehicle coverage when possible. If you have other family cars with the same insurer, you might be able to take advantage of multiple vehicle discounts. At least ask.

Seek out discounts on account of other lines. Are you using the same insurance provider for your homeowners? Your business insurance? Other lines? You might qualify for reduced rates on your car insurance by, in effect, buying your insurance in volume.

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.

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.

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

Fisherman’s Memorial in Gloucester, MA

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.

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