While Massachusetts' minimum requirement of $20,000 per person ($40,000 per accident) bodily injury liability coverage is about average, its $5,000 limit for property damage liability is very low and could easily be surpassed in even a minor accident.
We recommend anyone with savings or other assets to protect from a lawsuit raise his or her liability limits to at least 25/50/25 or higher.
Massachusetts has few uninsured drivers, according to the Insurance Research Council, but it requires uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
Massachusetts Car Insurance Laws
No-fault state: Massachusetts is a no-fault state, so no matter who causes an accident, you turn first to your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Minimum limits are $8,000 and cover items such as medical expenses, replacement services and 75% of lost wages.
Unique terminology: Massachusetts insurers sometimes refer to bodily injury liability coverage as "bodily injury to others" and uninsured motorist as "bodily injury caused by uninsured auto."
Credit not a rating factor: Credit information is prohibited from being used for underwriting or rating purposes by Massachusetts car insurance companies. Most other states allow the practice.
Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP): The SDIP establishes classifications of risks and thus outlines what insurers should surcharge drivers for. Read up on it, and how to appeal a surcharge, on the RMV website.
Proof of insurance: Massachusetts requires insurance to register a car, so an up-to-date sticker on your license plate or copy of your registration form may be adequate proof of coverage when stopped by a Massachusetts law enforcement officer. Make sure you request a hard copy of your insurance card, though, in case you travel.
Lemon and Lemon Aid laws: Massachusetts, like many states, has a Lemon Law regarding defects that consumers may find with their new or leased vehicles; however, it also has a unique Lemon Aid law.
The Lemon Aid law allows you to cancel or void a car sale or contract if your vehicle fails to pass inspection within seven days from the date of sale and the estimated costs of repairs of emissions or safety related defects exceed 10 percent of the purchase price. This applies to dealer and private party sales of cars and motorcycles acquired for personal use.
No points system: There is no driver's license points system in Massachusetts, but insurance companies still base their rates off a points system, usually determined to the SDIP system of surcharges.
Violations in other states: If you are cited for traffic violations in a state other than Massachusetts, it will still show up on your Massachusetts record and can affect your insurance rate.
Uninsured motorist penalties for Massachusetts: You may be fined $500, be sentenced to one year in jail and have your license suspended.
More about Massachusetts car insurance:
Massachusetts child seat laws
Largest car insurance companies in Massachusetts by market share
||Company / Group
||Direct Premiums Written ($)
||Market Share (%)
||MAPFRE North America Group
||Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies
||Arbella Insurance Group
||Plymouth Rock Companies
||Berkshire Hathaway Insurance
||MetLife Personal Lines Group
||Amica Mutual Group
||Progressive Insurance Group
|Source: A.M. Best market share rankings are based on direct premiums written in 2013.