Car insurance for high-risk drivers in Massachusetts

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High-risk drivers can be drivers who have little to no experience, like teens, or who have driving incidents on their records, like tickets, accidents or DUI convictions. Auto insurance companies view these drivers as more likely to cause crashes and file costly claims. Because of this, high-risk drivers tend to pay higher premiums than the rest of the population.

When shopping for high-risk auto insurance, Massachusetts drivers may want to get quotes from Plymouth Rock and Safety, two companies that offer competitive rates for high-risk drivers, based on data pulled from Quadrant Information Services. However, every driver brings a different situation to their car insurance search. Getting quotes from numerous carriers could help you find the best option for your Massachusetts high-risk auto insurance.

Bankrate Insight
  • Allstate has a fairly modest average full coverage car insurance premium increase in MA of just 2% after a speeding ticket, compared to an average increase of 50% or more from Plymouth Rock and Safety.
  • Plymouth Rock may be a good bet for MA drivers with a DUI conviction, with an average full coverage auto insurance premium increase of 62%, compared to a more than 100% average increase from Allstate and Amica.
  • Adding a 16-year-old driver to your Massachusetts auto insurance policy can cause an increase of over $1,000.

Rates for high-risk car insurance in Massachusetts

Several different drivers characteristics can cause insurance companies to view them as high-risk. Speeding tickets, accidents and DUI convictions, along with other driving incidents, are some of the most common. However, inexperienced drivers, especially teens, are also considered high-risk.

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. The faster you were going when you got your ticket, the higher the increase you are likely to see in your car insurance. But the company you are with also impacts how much you will pay. Allstate only increases its full coverage premium, on average, 2% after a speeding ticket, but Safety’s average increase is over 60%.

Massachusetts average annual full coverage premium
Car insurance company Rate before a speeding ticket Rate after a speeding ticket % increase
Allstate $1,312 $1,332 2%
Plymouth Rock $959 $1,446 51%
Safety $827 $1,351 63%

Rates after an accident

Just like with speeding tickets, the severity of an at-fault accident will impact how much your rate increases. Your past driving history also plays an important role; drivers with past driving infractions will likely see a greater premium increase after an accident. The cause of the accident could also impact your rates. If you were speeding, drinking and driving, texting or otherwise distracted, the penalties might be more severe.

If you have an at-fault accident on your record, you may want to get quotes from other carriers. The surcharge for an accident can vary, based on our research, from about 50% to over 100% depending on the company you are with.

Massachusetts average annual full coverage premium
Car insurance company Rate before an at-fault accident Rate after an at-fault accident % increase
Plymouth Rock $959 $1,447 51%
Safety $827 $1,685 104%
Geico $1,026 $1,563 52%

Rates after a DUI

DUIs are serious driving offenses, and, as such, the repercussions are severe. You may be subjected to fines, a suspended license, an impounded vehicle and higher insurance costs. Some companies will non-renew your policy, and others may decline to write a new policy for you if you have a DUI on your record within a certain number of years. Although specific costs vary by company, it is not uncommon for a DUI conviction to more than double your premium.

Massachusetts average annual full coverage premium
Car insurance company Rate before a DUI Rate after a DUI % increase
Allstate $1,312 $2,742 109%
Plymouth Rock $959 $1,550 62%
Amica $1,398 $2,861 105%

Rate for teen drivers

In 2020, there were 12,274 property damage cases and 4,158 cases of non-fatal injuries revolving around teen drivers in Massachusetts. In that same year, 47 teenagers died due to teen driving (out of 327 for the state).

Teen drivers are inexperienced and more likely than any other age group to get into an accident. Adding a teen driver to your policy will generally result in a significant increase in your premium. This presents an opportunity to shop your coverage to other companies who may charge lower rates for teens or offer more discounts. MetLife, for example, averages a $1,212 annual increase for adding a 16-year-old driver to a full coverage auto insurance policy, while Travelers’ average increase is nearly $1,928 per year.

Average annual premium increase for full coverage policyholders with 16-year-old driver added
Car insurance company Average annual premium increase for full coverage*
MetLife $1,212
Plymouth Rock $1,458
Travelers $1,928

*16-year-old on their parent’s policy

These numbers represent the amount that is typically added to a parent’s full coverage auto insurance policy once a 16-year-old driver is added. These rates are not the total rate for the entire policy, but rather the increase that the teen driver added. To lower these numbers, parents should look at student-related discounts with their provider.

Who is a high-risk driver?

Massachusetts drivers may be considered high-risk if they have any of the following on their insurance record:

  • Coverage lapses
  • At-fault accidents
  • Speeding tickets or other moving violations
  • DUIs

Young drivers are also generally considered high-risk drivers.

It is important to note that there is no industry-standard definition of a high-risk driver. Each car insurance company is likely to have its own definition based on its business model, underwriting metrics and preferred customer profile.

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: Insurance providers respond differently to certain violations and driver characteristics. Getting quotes from several companies can help you compare premiums and other policy features to help you find the best fit for your needs.
  • Compare discounts: Most insurance providers offer discounts that could help you save money. Common discounts include multi-policy, paperless statements and paid-in-full.
  • Drive an older car: Some cars are cheaper to insure than others. This can be due to statistical crash data, the price for parts and labor, and the vehicle’s value. Although getting a different car can be a drastic step, it could save you quite a bit on your car insurance.

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 could help you lower your rates in the long run. Most companies charge more for accidents, tickets and DUI convictions for three to five years.

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 car insurance premium. Your credit will not affect your car insurance premium, but this does not mean that your premium will be the same as a friend or family member’s. Numerous other rating factors will impact how much you pay, like the type of car you drive, your driving history and the coverages you choose.

Which provider is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company for you will depend on your priorities and what specific company features you are looking for. If you are looking for the lowest price, for example, the best company for you will not likely be the same as it would be for a driver looking for specialty coverages. Understanding your priorities and getting quotes from several providers might help you find the option that works best for your situation.

What is the average cost of car insurance?

The average annual cost of car insurance in the U.S. is $1,674 for full coverage and $565 for minimum coverage. In Massachusetts, full coverage costs an average of $1,223 per year, and state-required minimum coverage costs $510 per year.

Methodology

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.

High-risk drivers

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.

Teens: Rates were determined by adding a 16-year-old teen to a 40-year-old married couple’s policy. The rates displayed reflect the added cost to the parents’ policy.

Written by
Cate Deventer
Insurance Writer & Editor
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional with over a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent.
Edited by
Insurance Editor