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Massachusetts Car Insurance

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Before you buy car insurance in Massachusetts, you should learn about minimum MA car insurance requirements and why more coverage may be a better choice for some drivers. We provide average car insurance rates for your location so you can compare quotes and also outline Massachusetts auto insurance laws.

AVERAGE CAR INSURANCE RATES
by ZIP Code & City

MOST & LEAST EXPENSIVE ZIP CODES in Massachusetts

MOST EXPENSIVELEAST EXPENSIVE
02120- Boston: $2,074 02564- Siasconset: $877
02119- Boston: $2,074 02554- Nantucket: $877
02121- Boston: $2,074 01354- Mount Hermon: $896
02124- Boston: $2,026 01330- Ashfield: $900

The average car insurance rate in Massachusetts is $1,191 a year. The severity and frequency of claims in your neighborhood, your driving record, the type of car you drive and other variables are used by insurance companies to figure out the cost of your policy. That’s why the price for the same coverage can vary significantly among insurance companies — and why you should compare rates. For example, in Boston area ZIP code 02121 the highest rate among six carriers ($3,477) is over $2,000 more than the lowest ($950). When shopping for car insurance, use our average car insurance rates tool to compare rates. Enter a ZIP code to see the average premium for your neighborhood. You will also see the highest and lowest rates from the six major carriers surveyed to get an idea of what the most affordable car insurance price is in your area. For a customized rate, choose among six age groups and three coverage levels.

Cheap car insurance in Massachusetts

Massachusetts car insurance requirements

Your state's minimum car insurance requirements will be the cheapest coverage you can get. Massachusetts laws mandate that drivers carry minimum liability coverage limits of 20/40/5 on their vehicle. You must also have matching amounts of uninsured/underinsured coverage, and personal injury protection (PIP) limits of $8,000. In Massachusetts, PIP pays for the first $2,000 of your medical expenses, then your health insurance kicks in. If you don't have health insurance, PIP pays out up to the limits you bought, which must be at least $8,000.

Buying the state required limits to drive is definitely the cheapest way to go. Everyone likes to save money, but buying cheap car insurance in MA may not be the wisest option for many drivers. Your assets and savings are in jeopardy if you get into an accident and only have minimum coverage.

It does cost more to buy more protection, but as you’ll see in the chart below, additional coverage is typically affordable. Increasing your insurance from the state minimum to full coverage with a $500 deductible costs, on average, $652 more, or $54 a month.

*The table shows the average annual rate of nearly every ZIP code in Massachusetts from up to six major insurance companies. Rates are for a male driver, age 40, with a clean record and good credit for a 2016 Honda Accord. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.

Cheapest Massachusetts auto insurance for young drivers: Ages 18 to 25

You’ll see in the chart below which car insurance companies have the lowest rates for young drivers buying a full coverage policy. Average car insurance rates by age data shows that drivers typically pay higher rates until age 26, when rates begin to drop as drivers gain more experience on the road. But even young drivers can save money by comparing car insurance rates to see which company has the lowest rates, by qualifying for student discounts and by staying on their parents’ policy as long as possible.

Senior drivers: Cheap auto insurance for Massachusetts drivers age 65 to 85

Below you can see average rates by company, and how they compare, for drivers age 65 and over, buying a full coverage policy.

Best car insurance in Massachusetts

Scores are based on Insure.com’s “Best Insurance Companies” customer review survey of 3,700 customers. Policyholders ranked insurers on claims handling, customer service, value, mobile apps/website usefulness and were asked if they would renew their coverage and if they would recommend the company. All scores are out of 100.

 

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Cheapest car insurance in Massachusetts by company

Below you'll see average annual rates for Massachusetts, ranked cheapest to most expensive, for three coverage levels:

Largest car insurance companies in Massachusetts

Source: A.M. Best; State/Line (P/C Lines)  - P/C, US; Data as of:November 28, 2018

Who has the cheapest car insurance for Massachusetts drivers with speeding tickets?

If you get a speeding ticket, chances are you'll see an increase in what you pay for car insurance, upon your policy renewal. Typically, you'll pay more for three years. But even with a traffic ticket, comparison shopping can save you money. For instance, you'll see that the difference between the highest rate and the lowest in the table below is $2,208, on average, according to CarInsurance.com's rate analysis. That's how much you can save by comparing car insurance companies.

Low cost auto insurance for Massachusetts drivers with recent accidents

Filing an accident claim means you are likely to pay more for your car insurance coverage. However, how much more you pay depends on several factors, and your car insurance company plays is one of those significant factors. Each company assesses risk differently, so that's why the increase after an accident will vary among insurers. Here is how major carriers compare after at-fault accidents for the average Massachusetts driver with a full coverage policy:

Massachusetts drivers with bad credit: You can still save on car insurance

How much does it cost to add a teen to your policy in Massachusetts?

No matter where you live, adding a new driver to your family policy will hike your rate significantly. In Massachusetts, you can expect your rate to go up by an average of 145 percent when adding a driver age 16 to your coverage, according to CarInsurance.com rate data. You'll see in the table below how much it costs, on average, to add a teen driver in Massachusetts, and how major insurers compare on price. State Farm had the lowest auto insurance cost for adding a driver age 16 to a full coverage family policy, among insurers surveyed.

Average annual car insurance rates for major cities in Massachusetts

Below you'll see how average annual rates for several of the largest cities in the state compare to state and national averages. Rates are for coverage of $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident in liability and $50,000 of property damage coverage, with comprehensive and collision carrying a $500 deductible.

Show Tablular Data

Recommended car insurance coverage

Buying cheap car insurance in MA may not be the wisest option for many drivers. This is because even a minor wreck can cost much more than what your minimal insurance will pay out. For instance, say you have Massachusetts’ minimum bodily injury of $20,000 and $5,000 in property damage. You then cause an accident that totals the other driver’s car, valued at $20,000. It also results in $45,000 of medical expenses for the other driver’s injuries. You’re responsible for damages not covered by insurance. That means you have to pay $25,000 for medical bills and $15,000 for the damaged car – a total of $40,000.

Use our How Much Car Insurance Do You Need? tool to get a recommendation.

AGE
STATE
VEHICLE MODEL YEAR
OWN RENT
OWNED FINANCED LEASED

Liability

We recommend you buy more insurance than is required to legally drive a car in your state, especially if you have savings and assets. The more money you have, the more likely you are to be sued following a car accident should your insurance be insufficient to cover all the expenses. If your net worth is:

  • less than $50,000, choose at least 50/100/50
  • between $50,000 and $100,000, choose at least 100/300/100
  • more than $100,000, choose at least 250/500/100

If you're leasing or financing your car, you must get coverage of 100/300/100 or higher.

Collision and comprehensive

Collision coverage pays for damage to your car after an accident that you cause. Comprehensive insurance pays to replace stolen cars and broken glass and for damages from vandalism, flooding, hail, fire and animal strikes. These optional coverages are usually not budget-busters. Massachusetts drivers pay, on average, $555 a year for collision and $164 annually for comprehensive, based on CarInsurance.com rate data. If your car is:

  • less than 10 years old, you should strongly consider buying collision and comprehensive.
  • more than 10 years old, only buy collision and comprehensive if your car is worth $3,000 or more, if you couldn’t afford to replace your car if it’s wrecked, or if you just want more protection on your policy.

If you buy comp and collision, check our guide to choosing a deductible amount.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist

These coverages are required in Massachusetts and should match the liability limits you choose. Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage pays for damages if you’re hit by a driver with no insurance or a driver with coverage that’s insufficient to pay for your repairs and medical expenses.

Medical coverage (MedPay)

Medical payments coverage can help pay for the medical or funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident, regardless of fault, starting at $5,000 and up to $25,000. In most states, including Massachusetts, it's an optional addition to your car insurance policy. Because you are required to have PIP in Massachusetts, you likely don't need MedPay. That's because PIP provides coverage equal to -- and beyond -- MedPay, which does the following:

  • Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses
  • Pays for expenses after health insurance limits are exceeded
  • Offers additional protection to insured drivers who are hit by a car while walking or biking

If you and your passengers:

  • Don’t have health insurance, or have a plan that doesn’t cover car accidents or has low limits, we recommend that you add medical coverage of at least $5,000 to your car insurance policy.

Gap insurance

If you don’t own your car outright and have an accident, gap insurance pays the difference between the cash value of your car and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.

  • If you’re financing your car, your car is less than one year old and you’ve put less than 20 percent down on it, you should buy gap insurance. If not, you don’t need gap insurance.
  • If you’re leasing your car, it’s a good idea to buy gap insurance if you aren’t already required to in your lease agreement.
  • If you own your car outright, you don’t need gap insurance.

Massachusetts car insurance laws and resources

Massachusetts roads with the most fatal accidents

Here are the highways and roads where the most fatal accidents happened in 2017, according to the most recent data available from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System research compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

Proof of insurance and registering your car in Massachusetts

There are no car insurance cards issued in Massachusetts because your registration acts as proof of your policy. That means your car insurance company is part of the registration process. When you register a car for the first time, your car insurer begins by filling out, stamping and signing a form. This form is called the Application for Registration and Title (RMV-1). Once completed, your insurer sends it to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV).

MA Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP)

Massachusetts does not have a driver’s license points system. Instead, driving behavior is tracked with the point-based Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP). The goal of SDIP is to reward safe drivers with low car insurance rates and to penalize those with at-fault accidents and traffic violations with higher rates.

Not every insurance company uses SDIP when determining car insurance rates. Massachusetts car insurance companies have the option of using the SDIP driver rating system or can use their own merit-rating system to set rates. All insurance companies are required under law to explain how discounts or increases to rates were made when applying merit-ratings to your policy. This is true regardless of whether the insurer uses SDIP or its own merit-rating system and can be found on the “Coverage Selection” page of your policy.

Here we explain how SDIP works for those who have insurers that use it to set rates. Your driving history is used to create your SDIP rating. You are given “surcharge” points for unsafe driving, but may get a discount if you are a safe driver. For instance, new drivers are automatically assessed higher premiums because they have no driving experience yet. Additionally, you will receive surcharge points for car accidents or traffic violations. On the other hand, experienced drivers with clean records are given discounts. SDIP discounts and increases count toward your liability and optional collision coverage.

The more surcharge points you have, the higher your car insurance rate will be. Surcharge points might be imposed if:

  • Your insurer deems you more than 50 percent at fault in an accident
  • Your insurer pays out more than $500 on an accident claim you file
  • You are convicted of a traffic violation
  • Pay a fine for a traffic violation
  • You are convicted of a DUI and required to take an alcohol education program

For more information, read the RMV page SDIP and Your Auto Insurance Policy. The MA RMV also provides a detailed outline of surchargeable incidents. If you have questions about SDIP, call  a  customer service representative at the merit rating board by calling 857-368-8100.

SDIP MA car insurance discounts

You may be able to save money on your MA car insurance with the following discounts if your insurer uses the SDIP system and you’re a safe driver:

  • Excellent Driver Discount Plus -- To qualify for this 17 percent discount, you must have six years of driving experience and no surcharges in the past six years.
  • Excellent Driver Discount -- To qualify for this 7 percent discount, you must have at least five years of driving experience with no surcharges in the past five years.
  • Excellent Driver Discount with one incident -- To qualify for this 7 percent discount, you must have at least five years of driving experience and only one surcharge for a minor traffic violation in the past six years that is at least three years old.

How much does a speeding ticket raise your rates?

If you get cited for speeding, your rates will go up 27 percent, on average, per year, according to an analysis of rates from six insurers for 10 ZIP codes in the commonwealth.

Credit and gender not a rating factor

Car insurance companies in Massachusetts are not allowed to factor in your credit information or gender when calculating your rates. Most states allow the practice.

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 repair costs 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.

Uninsured motorist penalties for Massachusetts

You may be fined $500, be sentenced to one year in jail and have your license suspended if convicted of driving without insurance.

Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage is required in the state even though Massachusetts has the lowest uninsured motorist rate in the nation at 4 percent, according to the Insurance Research Council. For comparison, Oklahoma has the most uninsured drivers at 26 percent.

STATE CAR INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

To drive legally in Massachusetts, you must have liability insurance with at least limits of:

20 / 40 / 5

Bodily injury liability limits of $20,000 per person you injure in an accident, up to $40,000 per accident, and property damage liability of $5,000. You must also carry uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury limits of $20,000 for yourself and $40,000 for others. You also must have personal injury protection of $8,000, which covers you, your passengers and other authorized drivers of your car who are injured while in your insured vehicle.

Click here for an explanation of liability requirements numbers

HOW MUCH IS CAR INSURANCE IN MASSACHUSETTS? The average car insurance rate in Massachusetts is:
$1,191 per year
36th most expensive state in the U.S.
"No-Fault" Insurance Law
Under a no-fault system, when you have an accident, your auto insurance provider automatically pays you for certain damages, regardless of fault, up to a specified limit.
DRIVING IN MASSACHUSETTS
In our independent study of the best and worst states for driving, Massachusetts was the
21ST BEST STATE
53% percent of bridges were deemed structurally deficient (2nd worst in the U.S.)
3.9% of the drivers on the roads are uninsured (Lowest in the U.S.)
4.9 traffic-related deaths per 100,000 population (Lowest in the U.S.)
3.1% of the average annual median household income is spent on car insurance (24th lowest in the U.S.)
64 hours of commuter delay per year in Boston, the state's most congested city (4th highest in the U.S.)

Full report: Best and worst states for driving