Being a high-risk driver often means an insurance company feels you may file a claim in the future because of your age or past history (examples include: a lapse in coverage in the past, or multiple speeding tickets in recent years).
In 2019, Massachusetts only had a death rate of 4.8 per 100,000 people, which is low compared to the national average of 11. This lower risk rate may mean your premiums do not increase as much as other states, but if insurance companies consider a high-risk driver in Massachusetts, you are going to pay more for insurance.
Rates for high-risk car insurance in Massachusetts
Factors that influence your premium vary— meaning they are not equal in how they affect what you pay. A DUI, for example, is not as bad as a speeding ticket (assuming the speeding violation wasn’t reckless driving and child endangerment), nor is being a teenager as bad as being deemed at-fault in multiple accidents.
Rates after a speeding ticket
Any cost increase in your premium because of a speeding ticket will depend on two things: past driving history and the severity of the speeding violation. 5-10 miles over the speed limit is certainly not as bad as 15-20, which in many states counts as reckless driving.
|Car insurance company||Massachusetts average annual premium for full coverage before a speeding ticket||Massachusetts average annual premium for full coverage after a speeding ticket||% difference|
As you see, some companies are more likely to raise your rates more than others.
Rates after an accident
Because there are many types of accidents (small scale property damage to massive tragedy), you may see a dramatic difference between your increase and the numbers listed below. Of course, past driving history plays an important role in whether or not your provider dismisses the accident, raises your premium, or cancels your policy.
|Car insurance company||Massachusetts average annual premium for full coverage before an accident||Massachusetts average annual premium for full coverage after an accident||% difference|
The cause of the accident will play an important role, too. If it’s deemed the accident happened because you were speeding, drinking and driving, or texting, the penalties may be more severe.
Rates after a DUI
After a DUI, some companies might not allow you to renew your policy or may even cancel your policy. Furthermore, some states require drivers convicted of a DUI to have an SR-22 or FR44 form on file with the DMV. Contrary to what many people believe, these aren’t special types of insurance but are, instead, just proof that you have the state’s mandated required minimum coverage.
|Car insurance company||Massachusetts average annual premium for full coverage before a DUI||Massachusetts average annual premium for full coverage after a DUI||% difference|
The percentage of your premium increase varies on the severity of the DUI, as well as any past violations you may have on record.
Rate for teen drivers
In 2020, there were 12,274 cases of property damage and 4,158 cases of non-fatal injuries revolving around teen drivers. In that same year, 47 teenagers died as a result of teen-driving (out of a total of 327 for the state).
To put it in perspective, teen drivers were responsible for 18% of all property damage, accounted for 16% of all non-fatal injuries and 14% of all car related fatal injuries. Total wise, the number of cases are small (compared to the country), but percentage wise they are high, which is one reason insurance companies generally consider teen drivers to be high-risk drivers. Take a look at the table:
|Car insurance company||Average annual premium for full coverage|
*16-year-old on their parent’s policy
These numbers represent the amount that is typically added to parent’s policy once a 16 year old driver is added. To lower these numbers, parents should look at student related discounts with their provider.
Who is a high-risk driver?
Massachusetts high risk auto insurance includes anyone who has:
- Lapses in coverage
- At-fault accidents
- Speeding tickets
Young drivers are also considered high-risk drivers, and, In some states, people with low credit scores are, too.
The industry definition of a high risk driver is someone who is unable to get coverage from their preferred carrier. Either they are refused service or their policy is canceled. This may be true at times, but it’s certainly not universally true. Many high-risk drivers simply have to pay more for coverage to remain a customer.
How to lower your rate if you are a high-risk driver
Even though high-risk drivers generally pay more for car insurance, there are still ways to lower costs.
- Compare providers: As you saw, providers respond differently to certain violations and driver characteristics, so it is wise not to assume you will get the same rate with every provider.
- Compare discounts: Though many companies offer the same discounts, they generally do not offer the same amount of savings with them. While rate shopping, make sure you’re also comparing discounts. One company may be cheaper before discounts but not afterwards.
- Drive an older car: Older cars cost less to insure because they cost less to replace. To truly save big, buy an older with a high safety rating that you can also pair up with car-related discounts (such as daytime running lights, airbags, and anti-lock brakes).
- Increase your deductible: Increasing your deductible will lower your monthly costs, but keep in mind that it will also affect any payout you receive after an accident. The good news is that you have options and can choose a deductible amount that best fits your budget.
Generally, the best thing you can do to lower your costs is to be mindful of your driving habits and keep your record clean. This will not lower your premium overnight, but it will over time. The standard rule of thumb is to wait three years after any violation for better rates.
Frequently asked questions
Can a low credit score affect your insurance rate in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts state law prohibits the use of credit scores when determining the cost of a premium.
Which provider is the best car insurance company?
The best car insurance company for you will depend on what each individual prioritizes in a provider and what characteristics they have that may affect their premium rate.
What is the average cost of car insurance?
The average cost of car insurance in the U.S. is $1,674 for full coverage and $565 for minimum. In Massachusetts, the current average is $510 for minimum and $1,223 for full.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually. These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.