Massachusetts requires all residents to have adequate car insurance coverage in case of accidents. Learn more about Massachusetts car insurance laws, requirements, discounts or frauds.
Car Insurance Requirements
If you own a vehicle in Massachusetts, you will be required to hold the following minimum coverages:
- Bodily Injury to Others: $20,000 per person $40,000 per accident.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): $8,000 per person in an accident.
- Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Auto: $20,000 per person $40,000 per accident.
- Damage to Someone Else’s Property: $5,000 per accident.
PIP coverage or no fault insurance will cover you or your passenger’s injuries resulting from an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
Optional Car Insurance
Most Massachusetts car insurance providers offer optional types of coverages to help protect you further. These include:
- Collision – This covers the cost of damages to your car caused by a traffic collision
- Comprehensive – This covers the cost of non-collision incidents
- Towing and labor.
NOTE: Massachusetts car insurance laws do not require you to purchase comprehensive or collision coverage. However, these two insurance coverages may be required by your bank or lease company.
Proof of Insurance
In Massachusetts, insurance card is not needed as proof of insurance. Once you register your vehicle, your car insurance information will be kept in electronic form to be used in future as proof of insurance.
Registering Your Vehicle
When registering your vehicle, your car insurance provider must complete, sign and stamp the Insurance Certification part of RMV-1. They are then required to submit this form to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV).
Renewing Your Registration
You will receive a Renewal Form (RMV-2) from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles through mail 6 to 8 weeks before the current policy expiration. You may also download this form and use it for the same purpose. Upon receiving this form, you must take it to your car insurance company to stamp and sign it before sending it back to the RMV through the following options:
- By mail to: Attn: Mail In Registration Registry of Motor Vehicles P.O. Box 55891 Boston, MA 02205
- In person at an RMV center.
If your registration renewal card is marked “Ins. Stamp Not Needed Active Policy on File,” you can using the following options to renew your card:
- Online at the MA RMV’s Registration Renewal page.
- By phone at: (857) 368-8000 (if calling from Massachusetts area codes 617, 781, 339 and 857, or from outside of Massachusetts) (800) 858-3926 (877) 768-8833 for those with hearing impairment.
Massachusetts Safe Driver Insurance Plan
The Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) is a Massachusetts program that aims at reducing traffic related accidents. Through this program, safe drivers get discounts on their car insurance while unsafe drivers pay higher insurance premiums. SDIP rate discounts affect collision and liability coverages. Your driving record directly affects your premium rating as well as SDIP rating. Massachusetts car insurance providers can use their own merit-based rating system or that of SDIP when determining your insurance premium. Under the SDIP rating system, new drivers are automatically awarded higher premiums due to their lack of experience. They give surcharge points whenever new drivers violate traffic rules or cause accidents. Surcharge points might be given if you:
- Are found to be more than 50% at fault in an accident
- Insurance provider pays $500 or more on an insurance claim
- Pay a fine for a traffic violation
- Are convicted of a traffic violation
- Are assigned to an alcohol education program due to DUI conviction.
If your car insurance provider uses the SDIP rating system and you are found to be a safe driver, they may give you the following discounts:
- Credit code 99 (Excellent Driver Discount Plus): 6-year credit. For qualification, you must: Have driving experience of more than 6 years Have no surcharges during the past 6 years.
- Credit code 98 (Excellent Driver Discount): 5-year credit. For qualification, you must: Have driving experience of at least 5 years Not be eligible for the Excellent Driver Discount Plus Have no surcharges in the past 5 years.
- Credit code 98 (Excellent Driver Discount): 5-year credit with 1 incident. For qualification you must: Have driving experience of at least 5 years Have had only 1 incident for a non-criminal minor traffic violation in the past 6 years.
Surcharge Point Forgiveness
In certain situations, your surcharge points may be reduced to make your car insurance more affordable. For example, if you are given surcharge points from the sixth year before the start of your policy, those points will not count against you.
Clean in 3
You may be eligible to have 1 point surcharge reduction if:
- You have had 3 incidents or less that led to the awarding of surcharge points in the past 5 years
- Your most recent surcharge was at least 3 years before the start of your policy
- You have driving experience of at least 3 years.
Massachusetts Auto Insurance Plan
In Massachusetts, you are guaranteed car insurance regardless of your driving record. However, car insurance providers have the right to deny you for insurance coverage. If you are having a difficult time in finding a car insurance provider to insure your car, you can apply for coverage through Massachusetts Auto Insurance Plan (MAIP). These association share the risk associated with damages and injuries caused by high risk drivers. Car insurance through the plan is more expensive than that offered by open market insurance companies. Through this plan, you will be assigned a car insurance company to insure your car with the required car insurance. A car insurance company assigned to you through this plan must offer coverage for a minimum of 3 years.
Determining Your Premium
In addition to using systems like SDIP, Massachusetts car insurance companies may also use the following factors to calculate the rate of your insurance premium:
- Your age
- Years of driving experience
- Your location
- The make and model of your car.
Massachusetts car insurance companies are not allowed by law to use the following factors when determining your car insurance premium:
- Credit score
- Marital status
- Whether or not you own a home.
In fact these discounts can save you a lot of money, but the best way to get low cost insurance premiums is by keeping a clean driving record.
Most Stolen Cars in Massachusetts
Having a car that is always targeted by thieves may increase the cost of your insurance rates. According to www.nicb.org , the 2013 list of the most stolen cars in Massachusetts include:
- Honda Accord and Honda Civic
- Dodge Caravan
- Toyota Camry
- Toyota Corolla
- Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- Nissan Altima
- Honda CR-V
- Nissan Maxima
- Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee.