- October 17, 2021
- Posted by: Western Mass Auto
- Categories: Auto Insurance, Commercial Vehicle Insurance, Insurance Coverages, Teen Drivers
Massachusetts Car Insurance Laws – The Massachusetts state legislature has enacted a number of laws that regulate the sale and use of automobiles in the Bay State. These regulations include mandatory automobile insurance, restrictions on licenses for operators, limitations on liability coverage, and penalties for violations. This blog post will provide an overview of these laws with links to more detailed information about each regulation.
Massachusetts Minimum Requirements
Massachusetts has relatively high minimum insurance requirements though they are still less than what is recommended to become properly covered. Every major insurance company will offer higher limits for a slightly increased monthly premium.
The first major Massachusetts auto insurance law is the requirement that all drivers must have at least liability coverage. This type of policy will pay for damage caused to other people or their property in an accident with your car, including medical expenses and legal fees if you are sued after causing a crash. The minimum amount required by MA state law is $20,000 for property damage, $40,000 per accident regardless of the number of people injured, and $15,000 in personal injury protection coverage, or known as PIP insurance.
The second major insurance law is that any driver involved in an accident must show proof of financial responsibility to any other parties who are seeking payment. This usually takes the form of an insurance card issued by the insurer, but if you cannot produce it at the time of an accident then there are alternate methods.
Every driver in Massachusetts must maintain their own liability coverage unless they have a waiver that is approved by the state government. This waiver can only be granted after providing proof of financial responsibility to the Secretary of State through another source like a bond or an insurance guarantee.
Minimum car insurance requirements in Massachusetts
Bodily Injury to Others
- $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident
Bodily Injury Liability Coverage (BILIC) insurance coverage provides protection against lawsuits filed by other people who were injured through their fault while driving one of your cars. This includes passengers and people outside of your vehicle. It also applies if the person who was hurt cannot file a claim through their own insurance company because they were driving without auto insurance or had limited coverage.
Personal Injury Protection
- $8,000 per person, per 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
Personal injury protection is mandatory when you are driving in Massachusetts. If your car insurance plan does not include it, then the minimum requirement for liability coverage will be $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. These limits do not increase if there were passengers or pedestrians involved in an auto collision with someone who did not have any type of insurance at all.
Bodily Injury Liability Limits
The most that can come out of pocket after being sued by another driver is up to the limit shown on your policy document unless they have no-fault PIP which means unlimited medical expenses must be paid regardless of whether they caused the crash themselves or had a limited amount available through their insurer’s policy. Learn about the average cost of car insurance in Massachusetts.
What if you do not have auto insurance?
Massachusetts state laws require every motorist to carry car insurance. If a driver cannot provide proof of financial responsibility then they face fines and penalties.
- A fine up to $5000 and no lower than $500
- Incarceration up to one year
- Suspension of your driver’s license up to 60 days
- Required to pay for an entire year of insurance at the current market price.
If you are facing these financial penalties, the best way to avoid them is by taking out an insurance policy before being caught without one. If your car does not have enough value for a full plan, there are options like personal umbrella coverage that will provide extra protection when driving other cars or rental vehicles.
Typically, drivers who have their own auto insurance policies can be listed on your policy as “deferred operators” at no additional charge. However, under Managed Competition, not all insurance companies will allow you to defer a driver who has his or her own insurance policy, and some carriers will charge you an extra premium for doing so.
Massachusetts Insurance Companies
All Massachusetts auto insurers must be registered with the state’s Division of Insurance and meet certain guidelines in order to do business within MA borders. Every company has different premiums based on their claims experience, but there are some regulations all companies follow:
- They cannot refuse new policies if they receive written notice from another insurer canceling theirs
- The premium must come under 20% of what it would cost to drive legally with no insurance at all
- The maximum allowable deductible is $500
- Coverage limits cannot be less than what is required by MA state law
Most insurance companies will offer additional coverage like comprehensive and collision coverages. They can also provide uninsured motorist protection, which covers damages if you are hit by a driver who does not have liability or PIP insurance policies.
Optional Insurance Coverages
Automobile insurers may offer additional coverages that you may want although not required by law. You can learn more about all of the options available to you by calling Western Mass Auto Insurance in which. This includes coverages such as:
- Coverage for substitute transportation including rental cars while your car is being repaired from a collision or comprehensive claim.
- Coverage for towing and labor if and when your car breaks down.
- Accident forgiveness plans.
- Roadside assistance coverage.
- Auto loan or lease coverage, also known as Gap insurance.
- Pet coverage.
Massachusetts Is a No-Fault State
According to mass.gov Massachusetts is a no-fault state, which means each driver’s insurance company will pay for their own personal injury protection or PIP benefits regardless of who caused the accident.
The other person may file a claim with their insurer if they have uninsured motorist coverage, but it is not mandatory to do so. It only makes sense because there are situations where you would be at fault and your car was damaged or totaled during an auto collision, but that does not mean you were responsible for causing the crash in the first place.
Massachusetts has what is called “limited tort” which allows drivers to sue another party involved in a traffic incident even though he or she carries PIP limits on his/her policy plan. If you decide to go this route, then your damages will be reduced by your PIP benefits.
Massachusetts Insurance Information and Requirements
Until the year 2000, Massachusetts only required drivers to have financial responsibility that came in the form of a motor vehicle liability policy, but Managed Competition changed everything for drivers across the state. Today it is mandatory for every driver to carry an auto insurance plan at all times with no exceptions even if you are driving without a license or permit because this does not exempt you from penalties imposed by MA laws.
Auto Insurance Rates: The Factors that Affects Most Premium Costs
Your car’s make and model is standard information requested when applying for Massachusetts auto insurance quotes because the type of vehicle you drive can affect your premium rates significantly. If it is more expensive to replace parts on your luxury sedan than another person’s compact car then they will cost different amounts to insure. Other factors are also taken into account including the following:
- marital status – married people typically pay less
- age – older drivers are considered safer bets so younger ones may be charged higher prices initially
- annual mileage driven
- where you live/work in MA
- residential location
- education level
- credit score
A lot of information goes into getting an accurate car insurance quote for Massachusetts residents which is why it’s important to get your free online quote before purchasing a policy so you know exactly what you can afford. The cost of living here in Massachusetts has gone up over the years that many people have decided not to purchase mandatory auto insurance because they cannot afford the rates but this is dangerous and could result in higher premiums or even loss of driving privileges if pulled over by police on public roadways without proof of coverage! Protect yourself from financial ruin with affordable car insurance today!
GET YOUR FREE, NO OBLIGATION INSURANCE QUOTE TODAY!
Western Mass Auto Insurance makes it easy to get affordable insurance for your car, home or apartment. Our insurance quotes are available online or over the phone at (413) 543-3800 for Indian Orchard or (413) 781-3800 for the Forest Park area. You can also stop by one of our Two Conveniently Located Offices where an insurance representative can assist you.
MA Auto Insurance Laws FAQs
Can you drive a car without insurance in Massachusetts?
What type of car insurance is required by law in Massachusetts?
Minimum car insurance requirements in Massachusetts are:
- Bodily injury liability: $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.
- Property damage liability: $5000 per accident. Personal injury protection: $8000.