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Whether you’re having trouble keeping up with car insurance payments or you simply want to find a better deal, you’ve come to the right place. Our Geeks crunched the numbers from some of the top insurance providers to identify where to find the cheapest auto insurance quotes in Massachusetts.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Massachusetts
The best way to score the cheapest rates in the state of Massachusetts is to compare policies from multiple insurers. The table below outlines our insurance company recommendations for various driver categories:
|Drivers in the Military
|Plymouth Rock Assurance
|Low Annual Mileage
|Drivers Who Pay Their Premiums Upfront
Best Car Insurance Companies in Massachusetts
Our Geeks considered consumer reviews and complaint data to rank the best insurance companies in the state. You can find a summary of our findings below:
Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Massachusetts
In the state of Massachusetts, the minimum car insurance requirements are $20,000 for bodily injuries to one person, $40,000 for bodily injuries in one crash, and $5,000 for property damage. $8,000 in Personal Injury Protection per accident is also required, along with $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident in uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
Penalties for Driving Without Auto Insurance in Massachusetts
It is illegal to drive without auto insurance in Massachusetts. Car insurance helps minimize potential financial burdens related to accidents, and without it, Massachusetts roads would be much riskier, so officials have a vested interest in making sure all drivers are insured.
Penalties for not complying include a 60-day suspension and a maximum fine of $500 for a first offense, and a year suspension and a fine of between $500 and $5,000 for a second offense occurring within six years of the first. Drivers may also face imprisonment. Getting into an accident while uninsured could lead to being held personally liable, meaning that you may have to pay out of pocket for both damages to your car and damages and injuries incurred by the other party.
Massachusetts Car Insurance FAQs
What Terms Should Drivers Know Before Purchasing Car Insurance in Massachusetts?
Here are some key terms and phrases to enhance your understanding of Massachusetts driving laws and insurance policies:
- Liability: The state of being responsible for something
- Premium: An amount to be paid for an insurance policy
- Quote: An estimated price for a for a potential insurance policy
- Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP): The program used by the commonwealth of Massachusetts to keep track of traffic violations and accidents and to determine insurance premiums
- Surcharge: An additional charge or payment
- Surchargeable Event: A traffic violation or accident that may result in additional charges or payments
By familiarizing yourself with the aforementioned laws and policies, you can make the most of your time on Massachusetts’ roads and drastically improve your insurance rates.
What Massachusetts Traffic Laws Should All Drivers Know?
To obtain and maintain the lowest possible premiums, it’s important to know and obey the laws in Massachusetts. The commonwealth uses a Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) to keep track of infractions. Insurance companies monitor this data to determine how safe of a driver you are and how much to charge you; the fewer your points, the lower your rates.
What makes Massachusetts’ system unique is that the number of citations factors in even more than the points themselves. Further, this plan allows the Massachusetts government to set most insurance rates. Although insurance agencies are not required to utilize the SDIP, they must use an alternative, approved point system.
SDIP Incentives in Massachusetts
Essentially, it pays to be a safe driver in Massachusetts. If you have no surchargeable events in six years of driving, you may be eligible for the Excellent Driver Discount Plus Code. If you have no surchargeable events in five years of driving, or if you have one minor surchargeable event within a six-year policy period, you may be eligible for the Excellent Driver Discount Code.
You may experience a 1-point reduction if you have three or fewer surchargeable events in the five years before your policy date, the most recent event is at least three years before your policy date, and you have at least three years of driving experience. Check with your insurance provider to learn more.
Other Penalties for Traffic Violations in Massachusetts
Keep in mind that, while SDIP points won’t directly lead to other consequences like fines, jail time, or license suspensions or revocations, the number of surchargeable events and the seriousness, frequency, and quantity of these events might. A surchargeable event may be anything from a DUI/OUI to a speeding violation to texting and driving.
The commonwealth of Massachusetts considers any moving violation to be a surchargeable event. Three speeding tickets in a year, three “surchargeable events” in two years, three major transgressions in five years, or any combination of 12 transgressions in five years will all lead to a license suspension. Depending on the situation, you may have to attend a Driver Retraining Course, pay a license reinstatement fee, and/or retake your driver’s exam.
DUI/OUI Laws in Massachusetts
In addition to being a surchargeable incident, a DUI/OUI conviction is also a criminal offense. Massachusetts considers a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent to be legally impaired for adults 21 years or older. A BAC of .02 percent is enough for legal impairment of minors under 21. Sobriety checkpoints are allowed in Massachusetts.
Violators may face both administrative penalties and criminal penalties. Administrative penalties for a first offense include a 180-day license suspension and a reinstatement fee of between $100 and $1,200. Criminal penalties for a first offense include a 1-year license suspension, a fine of between $500 and $5,000, possible jail time of up to two and a half years, and potential enrollment in an alcohol education program. Drivers who fail to comply with a breathalyzer test at the time of the suspected incident may face even harsher penalties.
It’s important to note that Massachusetts has an open container law that makes it illegal to drive with open alcohol anywhere; even passengers aren’t allowed to consume alcohol in a car. A violation of this law may lead to a $100 to $500 fine.
A recent CDC study found that 2.2 percent of adults in Massachusetts reported driving after drinking too much—higher than the national average of 1.9 percent. To do your part in reducing drunk driving incidents, plan ahead; make sure you have a designated driver or a place to stay until you sober up. Don’t get into a car with anyone who could be impaired. If your designated driver drinks, use ride services like a cab, Uber, or Lyft.
Marijuana and Other Drug Usage on Massachusetts Roads
Although Massachusetts has decriminalized cannabis, it is still illegal to drive with it in your system. Additionally, legal prescription and over-the-counter drugs can impact your ability to drive properly, and thus pose a threat to Massachusetts roads. All DUI/OUI laws and penalties still apply if convicted.
Seat Belt Laws in Massachusetts
Every person in a moving vehicle, whether driver or passenger, must wear a seat belt in Massachusetts. Besides being a legal requirement, it could also save a life. Seat belts protect you in a collision; they can prevent you from hitting the window, wheel, door, or other car parts and from flying out of the windshield. They can also help you stay in control of a hit vehicle by keeping you stabilized. According to the commonwealth’s Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), 9,874 people not wearing seat belts were killed in crashes across the nation.
Drivers who do not comply may face a $25 fine, plus an additional $25 fine for every unbuckled passenger aged 12 to 15. Passengers 16 or older will receive their own $25 fine. Infants and younger children must be restrained in federally-approved booster seats until they are either 8 years old or 57 inches tall. Children who meet this requirement will also need to buckled in or the driver will face more $25 penalties.
Mobile Device Laws in Massachusetts
Portable, handheld, or mobile electronic devices are not allowed to be used If you’re operating a motor vehicle. This increasingly common distraction may only pull your attention away from the road for a few seconds, but that’s enough to do some serious damage. That’s why Massachusetts made it illegal to write, send, or read messages from such devices, although calls are allowed as long as one hand remains on the steering wheel. Drivers under 18 and commercial drivers are prohibited from using the device at all.
Take note of the fact that if you injure or kill anyone or damage someone’s property while using a mobile device, you may be convicted of negligence and face fines and the loss of your license.
License Suspensions and Revocations in Massachusetts
Any time the commonwealth of Massachusetts deems you to be a risk to public safety, they can suspend or revoke your license. When you receive a notice about the subject, you must stop driving immediately, as you are no longer permitted on the roads. Driving after your privileges have been withdrawn is a criminal motor offense and may result in jail time and heavy fines.
Below are some situations in which Massachusetts is mandated to suspend or revoke your license:
- Drag racing
- Leaving the scene of a crash in which someone was injured or killed or in which serious property damage occurred
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol
All of these are criminal violations and will also lead to heavy fines and imprisonment.
Sometimes, actions you take off the road may also impact your driving eligibility. Failing to pay child support or Massachusetts income tax, being convicted of drug trafficking, having an outstanding arrest warrant, and making a bad payment to the RMV could all contribute.
How Can I Get My Massachusetts License Reinstated?
There are many steps you have to go to before earning back your ability to drive in Massachusetts. If you feel you have been wronged, you are allowed to consult with a Hearings Officer, who will make sure laws are being enforced properly. Drivers may have to wait 10 business days before hearing a response.
Rulings based on properly-enforced laws cannot be altered by the Hearings Officer. In that event, drivers must wait until their suspension or revocation period is up before paying a fee of between $100 and $1,200 depending on the severity of the incident. Furthermore, if the withdrawal lasts for a minimum of two years, motorists are required to successfully retake the permit test and the road test,
What Should I Do If I’m Stopped by a Police Officer in Massachusetts?
The most important thing to do is be calm and courteous. Both you and the police officer don’t know what to expect from each other, so tensions can start out high. Remember that the cops are just doing their jobs, however; law enforcement is responsible for keeping the roads safe.
Keep your hands where the officer can see them and don’t reach for things suddenly, respond to questions politely, and stay in the vehicle unless the officer says otherwise. You should also turn your interior overhead light on if it’s dark out, put the car in neutral or park, and then turn the engine off.
Do not ignore the sirens or officer or try to argue the ticket or charges. If you feel you have been wrongfully stopped or ticketed, you may present your case before the court. Trying to evade officers or flee will lead to harsher consequences.