Shopping around can save you money on Massachusetts auto insurance.
Whether you’re driving into town to see the Red Sox play or you’re heading off to work, you want to have the best Massachusetts car insurance. If you’re thinking of switching things up, there’s a lot to consider. Will minimum coverage requirements be enough? Should you add extra coverage like comprehensive car insurance? Which company offers the best prices?
In this article, we’ll go over all of that and more. Recently, we reviewed over two dozen of the best auto insurance providers in the industry and ranked them on things like customer service, price, availability, and financial strength. Geico emerged as one of our top providers overall, and it’s also our top recommendation for Massachusetts car insurance.
In this article:
- Financial Responsibility Laws And Car Insurance
- Massachusetts Car Insurance Requirements
- Geico: Most Affordable Massachusetts Car Insurance
- Safety Insurance: Our Runner-Up For Massachusetts
- Average Cost Of Car Insurance in Massachusetts
- The Massachusetts Auto Insurance Plan
- Bay State Driver Statistics
- Insurance Providers in Massachusetts
Financial Responsibility Laws And Car Insurance
In a perfect world, there would be no car accidents. That ideal may be realized at some time in the future, but it’s not the case today. To ensure car accident victims get the compensation they deserve, all states maintain financial responsibility laws.
The most common way to satisfy these requirements is to purchase car insurance. Laws can vary, but only two states let you go without car insurance if you prove you can cover the costs yourself. Other states may allow you to purchase surety bonds or to insure yourself through a deposit with the DMV, but you’ll pay for the full accident costs in both of these scenarios.
Massachusetts Car Insurance Requirements
Here’s what you need to satisfy Massachusetts car insurance requirements:
- $20,000 bodily injury liability per person: This covers medical bills for other people in accidents you cause, up to $20,000 per person.
- $40,000 bodily injury liability per accident: The state minimum requires that your coverage pays a maximum of $40,000 total for bodily injury per accident.
- $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident uninsured motorist (UM): This coverage pays medical bills for you and your passengers in accidents caused by an uninsured motorist. Massachusetts requires the same limits for UM as it does for bodily injury liability coverage.
- $5,000 property damage: This covers damage to other cars in accidents that you cause. $5,000 is the lowest amount that any state requires.
- $8,000 personal injury protection (PIP): This covers your own medical bills up to $8,000 depending on the deductible you select. If you have private health insurance, your health insurance will be the primary coverage for medical bills exceeding $2,000. PIP also covers up to 75 percent of lost wages.
Massachusetts auto insurance requirements are wider than those of most other states, but the minimum coverage limits still don’t give you that much protection in each category. You may notice that nothing on the list above covers damage to your own car in the event of an accident. Also, the bodily injury and property damage limits of 20/40/5 are on the low end. A good coverage level would be 100/300/100, and that would keep you financially stable through a variety of accident scenarios.
Here are a few more types of coverage that aren’t required but can be good to look into when shopping for car insurance in Massachusetts:
- MedPay: This option covers your own medical expenses after PIP and also after your own health insurance.
- Comprehensive: This insurance covers damage to your car from non-accident events like floods or vandalism.
- Collision: This covers damage to your car from an accident. You can use it no matter who is at fault – your insurance company will seek reimbursement from the other driver if you weren’t at fault. The combination of collision, comprehensive, and liability insurance is called full coverage.
- Roadside assistance: Many companies offer coverage for spare tire installation, tow trucks, battery service, and fuel delivery. It may be a few dollars per month, but it can come in handy when it’s five degrees on the turnpike and your Honda Civic has a flat tire.
- Gap Insurance: This option covers the difference between what you have left to pay on your loan and the value of your car when it’s totaled.
- Rideshare Coverage: When you work for a company like Uber or Lyft, you usually need to add another policy option. This option covers you while you’re waiting to accept a trip request when rideshare companies typically won’t.
Massachusetts Is A No-Fault State
In the Bay State, you are required to seek medical compensation under your own coverage no matter who caused an accident. Personal injury protection and medical payments are the two types of coverage that compensate you in this situation. A no-fault injury claim is also called a first-party claim, and it only allows you to seek compensation for bodily injury expenses, not pain and suffering.
With Massachusetts auto insurance, you can file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver if you have more than $2,000 in medical bills or have suffered permanent disfigurement or serious injury. This is called a third-party claim, and the other driver’s bodily injury coverage would compensate you if you won the claim. If you file a third-party injury claim, you can seek compensation for pain and suffering as well.
PIP, MedPay, And Healthcare In Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, you’re allowed to choose a PIP deductible between $100 and $8,000. The cost of your premium will be smaller with a larger deductible, and vice versa. If you want the lowest monthly payment for car insurance in Massachusetts, you might think about choosing an $8,000 deductible. However, that’s the maximum amount that PIP will cover, whether you have a deductible or not. So, technically, if you choose a deductible of $8,000, you’re on the hook for all of your medical expenses.
MedPay also can’t be used to pay your PIP deductible. It only comes into effect after you pay your PIP deductible. Your private healthcare company can pay your PIP deductible, but it can also require you to pay back any damages you win from a claim.
For example, let’s say you had a $3,000 PIP deductible and had $5,000 in medical bills after an accident. Your healthcare company pays the $3,000 PIP deductible, and PIP pays the remaining $2,000. After filing a third-party claim, you are awarded $4,000. However, your health insurance company can require you to pay $3,000 back to them since it paid for your PIP deductible.
In the event that you have PIP, MedPay, and private health insurance with your Massachusetts auto insurance policy, your costs will be covered in this order, according to Massachusetts insurance regulations:
- PIP up to $2,000 for medical bills, up to $8,000 with medical deductibles
- Private health insurance
In this situation, your MedPay coverage will only kick in if you have leftover out-of-pocket costs that your health insurance won’t pay.
Standard Collision Vs Limited Collision Coverage
With Massachusetts car insurance, you have the option to choose limited collision coverage instead of standard collision coverage. If you do, you’ll pay less for car insurance in Massachusetts. That might sound like a good thing, but it’s important to understand the differences between the two types of insurance first.
Standard collision coverage: This type can be used no matter who was at fault in an accident. Standard coverage also protects you against hit and runs in Massachusetts.
Limited collision coverage: This type has some restrictions. First, you can’t use it unless you were 50 percent or less at fault in an accident. Also, you have to know the identity of the other driver, so even though a hit and run isn’t your fault, limited collision won’t cover you in that situation.
Generally, it’s a much better idea to get standard collision coverage. You may think a certain accident was obviously the other driver’s fault, but the insurance companies or the police report may not agree with you. You should only get limited collision coverage if your car isn’t worth much and if you own it outright. Lenders won’t allow you to get a limited collision policy.
Geico: Most Affordable Massachusetts Car Insurance
We think Geico auto insurance offers some of the best car insurance in MA, and it should be on your insurance shopping list. Many drivers find affordable quotes through Geico that are below the state average – plus, the company has a number of discounts that you might qualify for. Geico’s car insurance discounts include:
- Federal employee discount
- Military discount
- Multi-policy and multi-vehicle discounts
- Good student discount
- Good driver discount
- Defensive driver discount
Geico has a rating of A++ from AM Best. That means the company has a superior ability to meet its insurance obligations and fulfill claims. Geico’s claims process was rated highly on J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. The study found that overall satisfaction with claims has increased across the industry, and Geico came in fourth place overall. It’s good to find a company with a strong claims process since that’s really what car insurance is all about.
Safety Insurance: Our Runner-Up For Massachusetts
In addition to Geico, you might want to check out Safety Insurance while shopping for auto insurance in Massachusetts. The company offers auto, home, and business insurance in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Depending on your background and situation, Safety might offer the cheapest car insurance in MA. Safety also has some good discounts, including:
- Excellent Driver Plus (up to 24 percent off)
- Excellent Driver (up to 10 percent off)
- Crash prevention training discount
- Multi-policy and multi-vehicle discounts
- Good student and student away-at-school discounts
- E-customer discount
- Loyalty discount
Now, the requirements to get the Excellent Driver Plus discount are a bit tougher than Geico’s good driver requirements. With Safety Insurance, the last six years of your record need to be free of any accidents or incidents. With Geico, the last five years need to be free of accidents only.
While Safety Insurance doesn’t offer online quotes for Massachusetts car insurance, the company has many agents and partners spread across the state. Safety’s credentials are also great for a smaller company – it has BBB accreditation with an A+ rating, and it has an A rating from AM Best. The company has a mobile app that allows you to view your insurance card, pay your bill, or report a claim. However, customers give Safety Insurance average ratings online. If you can get a cheap rate with the company, it’s worth a try.
Average Cost Of Car Insurance In Massachusetts
On average, Massachusetts car insurance is cheaper than the nationwide average. According to The Zebra’s State of Insurance report, the national average is $1,470, but Bay Staters pay an average of $1,277 per year for car insurance. These average prices are for full coverage policies with $500 deductibles and 50/100/50 limits. According to the report, Massachusetts car insurance is the 16th cheapest overall.
The study also found that average national rates had increased by 23 percent between 2011 and 2018, but rates in Massachusetts only increased 10 percent during that time frame. Massachusetts is one of the states that avoided a huge spike in insurance – a number of other states saw increases of 40 percent or more.
If you want to skip out on coverage, you could save some more money by going with the state’s minimum. The same study found that the minimum Massachusetts car insurance policy costs about $524 per year. That’s super cheap, but it’s also risky. If you only had the minimum auto insurance in Massachusetts, your car wouldn’t be protected with comprehensive or collision coverage.
What Affects Your Rates?
While the Massachusetts car insurance average is cheaper than the national average, that doesn’t necessarily mean your rates will be cheaper. Your auto insurance quote in MA is affected by many things, including:
- Driving record
- Recent claims
- Breaks in coverage
- Zip code
- Years of driving experience
- Annual mileage
- Type of car you drive
If you’re familiar with insurance shopping, you might notice that a few things are missing from this list. In fact, Massachusetts has banned the use of your gender, marital status, and credit report in determining car insurance rates. That’s great news, especially if your credit score isn’t very high. In some states, a bad credit report can lead to huge increases in rates. On the other hand, if you get married, you won’t enjoy the moderate decrease in rates that married people get in other states.
You can compare quotes from several insurance companies and see how these factors will affect them by using the tool below:
The Massachusetts Auto Insurance Plan
In some cases, you might not be able to find Massachusetts car insurance from regular providers. This could happen if your driving record is poor or you’ve had too many recent claims. If this is the case, you can still get insurance through the Massachusetts Auto Insurance Plan (MAIP).
All Massachusetts auto insurance companies are required to insure a portion of drivers in an assigned risk pool. These are drivers who have been denied auto insurance coverage and who pose a greater risk to insurance companies. The pool is divided between companies based on each provider’s market share.
So, insurance plans through MAIP are offered by the same providers that sell plans on the regular market. Any insurance agent in Massachusetts can submit an MAIP application on your behalf after you’ve been denied standard coverage. Once you get a Massachusetts Auto Insurance Plan, the company is required to insure you for three years. The company can refuse to renew your policy only if your license is suspended or revoked.
Bay State Driver Statistics
According to the Massachusetts 2018 Highway Safety Report, 82 percent of drivers surveyed said they used their seatbelt, which was the highest percentage on record for the state. However, many people still find it hard to put down their phones while behind the wheel. In April of 2018, Massachusetts enacted a Distracted Driving Mobilization effort with law enforcement – it led to 1,831 stops, 13 percent of which resulted in a ticket for texting and driving. Accidents due to distracted driving have claimed about 30 lives per year in Massachusetts for the past five years.
According to data from the Federal Highway Administration, Bay Staters drive 11,759 miles per year on average. That’s below the national average of 14,425 miles and is one reason why insurance rates tend to be more affordable in Massachusetts. In densely populated parts of the state, things are closer together and people don’t have to drive as far to get where they need to go.
Insurance Providers In Massachusetts
Currently, the following Massachusetts auto insurance providers offer plans directly to consumers. In other words, you can go online, get a quote, and purchase a policy from one of these companies:
- Allstate Auto Insurance
- Ameriprise Auto Insurance
- Amica Auto Insurance
- Chartis (AIG)
- Esurance Auto Insurance
- Geico Auto Insurance
- Liberty Mutual Auto Insurance
- Metropolitan Property & Casualty
- Progressive Car Insurance
- Safeco Car Insurance
- USAA Car Insurance
You have more options for Massachusetts car insurance, you just have to go through an agent for a policy from these companies. Here are a few agent-only providers in Massachusetts:
- Arbella Car Insurance
- Commerce Insurance
- Farm Family
- Harleysville Insurance
- NGM Insurance
- Occidental Insurance
- Plymouth Rock Car Insurance
- Premier Insurance
- Safety Insurance
Getting car insurance quotes in MA is fairly simple, whether you go through an agent or a website. You’ll need your basic contact information, information about your driving history, and information about your car. For car insurance in Massachusetts, you’ll also need to declare anyone else who lives with you and has a driver’s license, even if they have their own car. If you’re applying to USAA, you’ll have to include information on your military service or that of a family member.
Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and rates. In addition to the insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history can affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.
Use our tool below to start comparing personalized car insurance quotes.
Read our other insurance articles: