Massachusetts Car Insurance Guide
Discover auto insurance requirements, the best companies, and how to get the lowest rates in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts is the largest state by population in the New England area. It’s also the 15th-largest state in the country. Many know the state for being home to Boston and famous landmarks, such as Harvard University.
With Massachusetts’ large population, there are also lots of drivers on the road. There are about 4.9 million licensed drivers in the state. Massachusetts also tends to have higher average car insurance rates than the rest of the country.
Like several other states, Massachusetts requires coverage to drive. This page will teach you how car insurance works in the Bay State. This includes rate data, minimum requirements, the best insurers, state laws and policies, and other key info.
Table of contents
Massachusetts Average Auto Insurance Rates
If you’re shopping for car insurance, it’s a smart practice to see how much drivers in your state pay on average. This can help you find out how much you can expect to pay. It might also help you know if you’re paying too much for your current policy. Keep in mind that everyone’s rates are different. Insurers consider many factors when they’re setting your premium, such as:
- Where you live
- The car you drive
- Driving record
The table below shows the average price for full-coverage in Massachusetts. Drivers here pay more, on average, for car insurance than the rest of the country. The monthly price for full a policy liability, collision, and comprehensive in MA is $9.36 higher than the US average.
|Coverage||Massachusetts Average||US Average|
|Price Per Month||$98.56||$89.20|
Average Full Coverage Rates
The graph below shows the average full-coverage rates in Massachusetts from 2012 to 2019. Premiums increased about 21% during this time when they rose from $976 in 2012 to $1182 in 2019. Rates here have stayed above the national average for the entire period. However, the gap has closed quite a bit as time went on.
Insurance is expensive in this state for several reasons. One is that the state’s drivers are mostly centered in large cities, like Boston, Worcester, and Springfield. Cities are typically a hotspot for accidents and claims. This results in higher rates. Another reason is that Massachusetts has a higher cost of living than most states. This causes rates to be higher, in general.
Average Liability Coverage Rates
In this graph, you can see the change in average Massachusetts liability insurance costs from 2012 to 2019. Liability costs climbed from $578 in 2012 to $664 in 2019. This was an increase of $86, or 14%. Like with the full coverage graph, premiums remained above the US average during this time.
One reason for the Bay State’s higher liability rates is due to the expensive health costs. Massachusetts ranks third in the country for health costs per person. This could cause liability insurance claims to be more expensive per person. As a result, rates would likely be higher for everyone in the state.
Average Collision Coverage Rates
The next graph shows the average Massachusetts collision insurance costs from 2012 to 2019. Collision rates increased by $104, or 30%. Rates went from around $343 in 2012 to $447 in 2019. Much like the other coverage types, collision rates here are above the national average, too.
Average Comprehensive Coverage Rates
Below is a graph displaying the average comprehensive coverage costs in Massachusetts from 2012 to 2019. Comprehensive rates saw an increase of 19% during this time. They went from $125 in 2012 to $149 in 2019.
With each of the coverage types above, rates steadily increased over the years. This will likely continue. As inflation occurs, the cost of health care, litigation, and auto repairs will generally rise. This makes insurance claims more expensive for providers. Because of this, rates will continue to climb.
Massachusetts Auto Insurance Requirements
Every state, except for Virginia and New Hampshire, requires auto insurance to drive. However, requirements vary by state. Minimum requirements in Massachusetts include:
- The types of car insurance you must buy
- How much of each type is required i.e., coverage limits
In Massachusetts, you need to buy a policy to register your vehicle. Without carrying the proper coverage, you could lose your car registration.
Massachusetts requires you to have basic liability coverage on your policy. This covers any damages or injury costs that you cause in an accident. It exists to protect other drivers from having to pay out of pocket. You must carry liability limits of at least:
- $20,000 of bodily injury liability (BIL) for one person
- $40,000 of BIL for more than one person
- $5,000 of property damage liability (PDL) for any one accident
You may see the state’s minimum liability requirements in a shorthand form: “20/40/5.” This refers to the minimum amount of coverage, in thousands of dollars, that you need.
Buying the minimum amount of car insurance is all you need to drive legally, but you may need more. Costs from an accident can get into the thousands and often exceed your limits. It’s best to buy as much coverage as you can to avoid paying for accident costs out of pocket.
Find the Best Car Insurance in Massachusetts
Compare quotes among leading car insurance companies to get better coverage and lower rates.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Massachusetts also requires you to carry personal injury protection (PIP) on your policy. This will cover your injuries from an accident regardless of who was at fault. You may also see the state or insurers call PIP “no-fault insurance.” State law requires you to have at least $8,000 of PIP per person for each accident.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)
You must have uninsured motorist coverage (UM) to drive in Massachusetts. UM protects you and your passengers from having to pay for injuries and damages that an uninsured driver causes. You must carry UM limits of at least:
- $20,000 per person
- $40,000 total per accident
Underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage isn’t required. But for just a bit more each month, UIM protects you when you’re in a car accident with a driver with too little insurance to pay for all damages. They may have the bare minimum requirements and satisfy the law, but that won’t pay for severe injuries after policy limits are reached.
Unlike most states, Massachusetts doesn’t require you to carry proof of insurance in your car. This means you won’t need to worry about providing an ID card at a traffic stop or after an accident. This is because your car registration will already have your insurance information.
In Massachusetts, self-insurance isn’t an option. However, you can file a surety bond with the state instead. The bond you deposit needs to display an ability to meet the state’s minimum coverage requirements.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
Driving without insurance is illegal in Massachusetts. If the police catch you driving without coverage, severe penalties will follow. You can expect the following penalties for driving without insurance:
- $500 to $5,000 fine
- Jail time of up to one year
- 60-day driver’s license and car registration suspension
- $500 license and registration reinstatement fee
Best Car Insurance Companies in Massachusetts
When you’re shopping for a new policy, it’s crucial that you find the best company for you and your situation. The best auto insurance companies put their customers above anything else. To find the best insurer, you’ll need to look at the overall quality of each one. This includes looking at key qualities, such as:
- What rates they offer
- Customer loyalty and benefits programs
- Agent networks i.e., whether their agents are numerous and accessible
- Customer service
Top Companies by Market Share
A good place to start to find the best company in your state is by looking at who owns the most market share. This will help you find the largest companies in the state. The largest companies are also the most popular and likely have the most resources. Below are the top auto insurance companies in Massachusetts by market share:
|Rank||Company||Direct Premiums Written||Market Share|
Top Companies by J.D. Power Rating
It’s important to find a company with a high customer satisfaction rating. J.D. Power ranks companies based on their customer satisfaction score. Below are the top ten companies in the New England area by J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction rating (USAA was not part of this list because it didn’t fit J.D. Power’s criteria):
|Rank||Company||Customer Satisfaction Score (Out of 1,000)|
Best Companies Based in Massachusetts
Another option for you is to buy coverage from a company that’s based in Massachusetts. This might be a good option for you because these companies may offer special benefits for local customers. It’s also a good way to support local businesses.
Below are the top auto insurance companies based in Massachusetts (in no particular order):
- Liberty Mutual
- Plymouth Rock Assurance
Massachusetts Auto Insurance Laws
No-Fault or Fault?
Massachusetts is a no-fault insurance state. These are states that require you to add personal injury protection (PIP) to your policy. This is because PIP covers your injuries regardless of fault. You must have at least $8,000 worth of PIP on your policy to drive.
Your insurer will generally declare your car a total loss if the damage costs are more than the actual cash value (ACV). However, each state uses different rules for when a car becomes a total loss. Many states name a car a total loss if the damages reach a certain percentage of the car’s ACV.
Instead of a percentage, Massachusetts requires insurers to use the total loss formula (TLF) to decide whether or not a car is totaled. With the TLF, a car is a total loss if the car’s damage costs plus its salvage value exceed the ACV. If your car isn’t a total loss, you’ll be able to get it back and repair it.
Salvage and Reconstructed Titles
If your car is a total loss, it’ll receive a salvage title. Salvage titles cars are illegal to drive. It’s also impossible to insure cars with salvage titles. You must get a rebuilt or reconstructed title to be able to drive the car again.
How to Get a Reconstructed Title
To get a reconstructed title in Massachusetts, you need to rebuild the car to a drivable condition. Then, you can apply for a reconstructed title. Here are the exact steps to get a reconstructed title:
- Repair the car to a safe and roadworthy condition
- Have the car pass a salvage inspection
- Bring the following documents to a local RMV Service Center
- Completed Registration and Title Application
- Current salvage title
- Registration certificate (only if it applies)
- $75 title application fee
- Wait four to six weeks for the RMV to mail the reconstructed title
Insuring Cars with Reconstructed Titles
You can insure vehicles with reconstructed titles in Massachusetts. But it may be hard to get full coverage. Insurance companies aren’t fond of previously totaled cars. Because of this, providers will likely only offer you a liability-only policy.
Insurance coverage for a reconstructed title car will also typically cost more. Rebuilt cars carry more of a risk and can be more expensive to repair. Be sure to shop around and compare quotes to find the best rate for your rebuilt car.
Full Windshield Replacement
In Massachusetts, insurers must offer you the option of adding full glass coverage to your policy. This policy add-on repairs your windshield without a deductible. Keep in mind that full glass insurance coverage costs extra. It would be a good idea for you if you feel your car’s at risk for windshield damage.
You’ll likely need to file a claim following a car crash with reportable damage. This should be a simple and painless process. Like other states, Massachusetts gives you the right to protect yourself during the claim process.
What to Expect After Filing a Claim
In Massachusetts, insurance companies must settle your claim in a reasonable amount of time. The reasonable amount of time differs based on the type of claim. There is no specific time limit for insurers to follow when handling your claim.
You may need to file an SR-22 form in Massachusetts if you have a serious driving offense, such as a DUI. SR-22 forms ensure that you have the minimum required coverage on your policy. A court will usually be the one to order you to file an SR-22. Your insurer can file the form for you. Be aware that you’ll need to pay a minimal filing fee to your insurance carrier.
In many states, insurers may use your credit history as a rate factor in determining your premium. Massachusetts forbids the use of credit scores to decide how much you pay for auto insurance. They also may not use it to drop or deny your policy.
Massachusetts affords you the right to cancel your auto insurance policy at any time. But your company may financially penalize you for dropping the policy before it expires. At the same time, your insurer may also cancel your policy early for good reasons, such as fraud, license suspension, or not paying your premium. In this case, they’ll need to give you at least 20 days’ notice.
When you lose your policy for not paying for premium, your insurance provider will give you the chance to reinstate it. Most insurers have a grace period for you to pay your bill. After that, your coverage will lapse, making it extremely difficult to reinstate your policy. The best way to save your policy, is to pay your premium as soon as you can.
Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP)
Insurers in Massachusetts use the SDIP to reward safe drivers with lower rates and penalize unsafe drivers with higher rates. The SDIP only applies to the following insurance coverages:
- Bodily injury liability
- Property damage liability
- Personal injury protection
- Collision coverage
You’ll receive lower rates if you go a certain time without traffic violations or at-fault accidents. Similarly, your rates may go up if you rack up tickets and at-fault accidents on your record. The state doesn’t require insurance companies to use the SDIP, but many of them do. Be sure to ask your agent about what your insurer uses to keep track of safe or unsafe driving.
Drunk Driving Laws
Driving while under influence of drugs or alcohol is a bad choice. It puts you and others in danger. Also, it can cost you thousands of dollars, ruin your record, and maybe even result in jail time. In Massachusetts, you’ll get a DUI if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 or higher (or 0.02 or lower if you’re under 21). Commercial drivers will receive a DUI if their BAC is 0.04 or higher.
The penalties for a DUI are usually severe. After each offense, the penalties will get worse. Below are the Massachusetts penalties for a DUI:
- Fine of $500 to $5,000
- Jail time of up to two and a half years
- Driver’s license suspension of 45 to 90 days
- Fine of $600 to $10,000
- Jail time of 60 days to two and a half years
- Driver’s license suspension of two years
- Ignition interlock device (IID) after driver’s license reinstatement
- Fine of $1,000 to $15,000
- Jail time of 180 days to two and a half years
- Driver’s license suspension of eight years
- IID after driver’s license reinstatement
Getting a DUI won’t just get you in trouble with the law. You can expect your rates to go way up afterward. Insurers will view you as a risky driver. This will make it hard to get coverage in the future and the non-standard or high-risk insurance policy you’ll wind up with will be outrageously expensive.
Driving Record and Points System
Massachusetts doesn’t use a driver’s license points system to keep track of violations on your record. They do, however, keep a record of tickets, accidents, and suspensions. This record is public information. Anyone may request a copy of it, including insurers.
Most Popular Cars
Each state has a different group of the most popular cars. These vehicles sell the most throughout the year. Here were 2021’s most sold vehicles in Massachusetts:
- Toyota RAV4
- Honda CR-V
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Toyota Highlander
- Ford F-Series
Most Stolen Cars
Insurers pay attention to which cars thieves target most each year. These cars are more likely to be stolen than others. Owning a car that thieves target often could result in a bump in your rates. These were Massachusetts’ most stolen vehicles in 2021:
- 2013/2009 Honda Accord
- 2012 Honda Civic
- 2019 Toyota Camry
- 2020 Toyota Corolla
- 2020 Nissan Altima
- 2019 Ford Pick-Up (Full Size)
- 2019 Toyota RAV4
- 2019 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
- 2019 Ford Fusion
- 2019 Hyundai Elantra