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Massachusetts Car Insurance

Massachusetts was the first state to require car liability insurance, all the way back in 1925. Until recently, all state car insurance rates were set by the Commissioner of Insurance under a "fixed-and-established" system. Now car insurers compete -- and the differences in their rates can be huge. You can find the average rates in every Massachusetts city and town below.

Massachusetts Car Insurance Requirements
Average Car Insurance Rates in Massachusetts
Car Insurance Companies in Massachusetts

Massachusetts car insurance requirements

Massachusetts state law requires the following minimum car insurance coverage:
Minimum bodily injury liability $20,000/$40,000
Minimum property damage liability $5,000
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury $20,000/$40,000
Personal injury protection $8,000

Massachusetts Car Insurance Rates by ZIP Code & City

Top Cities
Priciest Neighborhoods
In Massachusetts
  • 10110: $2,445
  • 02302: $2,076
  • 02119: $2,058
  • 02121: $2,058
Cheapest Neighborhoods
In Massachusetts
  • 02667: $903
  • 02666: $903
  • 01436: $904
  • 01342: $904

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What you need to know about car insurance in Massachusetts

Penny Gusner
Consumer Analyst

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.

Largest car insurance companies in Massachusetts by market share

Rank Company / Group Direct Premiums Written ($) Market Share (%)
1 MAPFRE North America Group 1,126,161 26.09
2 Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies 558,841 12.95
3 Safety Group 459,737 10.65
4 Arbella Insurance Group 378,541 8.77
5 Plymouth Rock Companies 281,644 6.52
6 Berkshire Hathaway Insurance 213,119 4.94
7 MetLife Personal Lines Group 197,096 4.57
8 Amica Mutual Group 144,487 3.35
9 Progressive Insurance Group 138,847 3.22
10 Travelers Group 132,301 3.06
Source: A.M. Best market share rankings are based on direct premiums written in 2013.