In 2019, there were 140,470 car accidents reported by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Nearly 33,000 crashes involved at least one injury, and 323 people were killed in car accidents across the state.
Massachusetts drivers are legally required to carry car insurance to protect themselves and other drivers. Understanding Massachusetts car insurance laws is important to ensure you have adequate protection and meet the minimum coverage requirements.
Car Insurance Laws in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has several core car insurance laws. Whether you are a current Massachusetts resident or are moving to the state, it is beneficial to familiarize yourself with the rules and your rights as a driver. Here are the car insurance laws in Massachusetts:
- Drivers must carry minimum coverage insurance: All drivers in Massachusetts must carry a minimum amount of liability and uninsured motorist coverage.
- Drivers must carry no-fault insurance: Massachusetts is a no-fault state, and drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.
- Drivers must have insurance before registering a vehicle: Massachusetts drivers must present proof of insurance in order to register their vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
- Household members must be added to your policy: Per Massachusetts state law, any relatives that live in your household must be listed on your car insurance policy, even if they have their own insurance policy.
- You cannot be denied coverage for discriminatory reasons: In Massachusetts, insurance companies are not allowed to consider a driver’s credit score, age, gender, marital status, education or income when calculating their policy premium.
- All drivers have the right to auto insurance: If a driver in Massachusetts is denied coverage from a preferred auto insurance provider, the driver can purchase insurance through the Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan (MAIP).
Liability Insurance in Massachusetts
Massachusetts insurance law states that all drivers must carry liability insurance and uninsured motorist coverage. The Massachusetts minimum car insurance requirements are:
- $20,000 in bodily injury liability/uninsured bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $40,000 in bodily injury liability/uninsured bodily injury liability coverage per accident
- $5,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident
Drivers who opt for minimum coverage insurance will pay the lowest insurance premium. However, settling for minimum coverage insurance is not always the best choice. Car accidents can be expensive, and there is no guarantee that liability-only insurance will be enough to cover the full cost of an accident.
For example, imagine that you drive into a storefront and cause $60,000 in property damage. With minimum coverage insurance, your policy would only cover $5,000 in losses. In that case, you would be responsible for paying the $55,000 difference out-of-pocket.
Another thing to consider is that liability-only insurance does not include any protection for your vehicle. If you were to hit a deer or accidentally crash into a neighbor’s mailbox, you would be responsible for paying for your vehicle’s repairs.
Is Massachusetts a No Fault State?
Massachusetts is one of 12 states that follows no-fault car insurance laws. In a no-fault state, a driver’s insurer pays for their medical costs and lost wages after an accident, regardless of which driver caused the crash. The other 38 states follow fault insurance laws, where the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays for the other driver’s medical expenses.
Because Massachusetts is a no-fault state, drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. PIP is the portion of your car insurance policy that will cover your medical bills after an accident. The minimum PIP coverage in Massachusetts is $8,000 per person and $8,000 per accident, but drivers have the option to purchase higher coverage limits.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Massachusetts
Driving without car insurance in Massachusetts is illegal. If you get caught driving without insurance in Massachusetts, you will be fined and your license may be suspended for up to 60 days. For two or more offenses, you will face higher fines, longer license suspensions and potentially jail time.
Additional Auto Insurance Coverage Options in Massachusetts
Most drivers buy coverage beyond the Massachusetts auto insurance requirements. Purchasing additional coverage will raise your premium, but it offers a greater level of protection. Here are some popular policies available in Massachusetts:
- Collision insurance: Collision insurance will pay for your vehicle’s repairs after an accident. The average cost of collision coverage in Massachusetts is around $427 per year.
- Comprehensive insurance: Comprehensive insurance will cover vehicle damage not caused by an accident – in other words, it covers things like theft, vandalism, flooding or falling objects. Adding comprehensive insurance to your policy costs $145 on average in Massachusetts.
- Accident forgiveness: Your car insurance premium will typically increase after an accident. However, adding accident forgiveness coverage to your policy can prevent your rate from going up after a minor crash.
- Gap insurance: Gap insurance is beneficial for drivers who have a leased or financed vehicle. If your car gets totaled in a covered crash, gap insurance will pay the difference between the car’s value and the remaining loan balance.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best car insurance company in Massachusetts?
There are dozens of car insurance companies in Massachusetts, but the best company is different for every driver. For instance, the best company for customer service might not be the best company for cheap rates. To find the best car insurance company in Massachusetts, shop around and find a provider that offers the amount of coverage you need for a good price.
What is the cheapest car insurance in Massachusetts?
The cheapest car insurance companies in Massachusetts are Amica, Geico and State Farm. However, you might pay more or less than the statewide average based on factors like your ZIP code, driving record and the type of car you drive. Remember that Massachusetts does not consider your age, credit score or income when calculating your rate.
How much does car insurance cost in Massachusetts?
The average cost of car insurance in Massachusetts is $1,183 for full coverage insurance and $397 for minimum coverage insurance. The average car insurance premium in Massachusetts is significantly less expensive than the United States national average, which is $1,738 per year for a full coverage policy.