Consumers looking for the cheapest car insurance in Massachusetts must consider the variables that go into determining the cost of policies, as well as which coverage to include in those policies.
Insurers look at a lot of issues specific to you and your car to build your car insurance rates, including gender, age, amount of driving experience, where you regularly park your vehicle, and the type of car you choose to drive.
Carriers evaluate those components in separate ways, so you can find a range of potential prices when you request insurance quotes.
That’s why comparison shopping between at least three well-known companies is key to helping you get the very best rate.
As a part of your car insurance shopping process, it’s vital that you research the types of coverage that you want to carry, as well as any discounts for which you may be eligible.
Once you’ve learned the components of your coverage and the costs proposed by carriers, you may be able to negotiate even more favorable terms.
Use the info in this simple guide to learn the basics of car insurance and follow the included tips to score an affordable policy for your vehicle.
How Much is Car Insurance in Massachusetts, On Average?
The average annual premium for car insurance in Massachusetts in 2015 was $1,129.29.
This amount is higher than the prior year, and it has risen at a rate of about $30 per year in each of the last five years.
Several factors are responsible for the steady upward trajectory of car insurance costs in Massachusetts, including an increasing number of claims filed due to accidents, and the growing dollar amounts of those claims.
Even if you are claim-free yourself, your insurance policy dollars are still paying into the pool that covers your fellow drivers.
Massachusetts was judged to be the ninth most expensive state for car insurance, according to a 2015 study of costs by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Many cost factors influenced the average expenditures in the most expensive states for car insurance, including the high percentages of the population in urban areas, higher costs of living and salary levels, quantity of highway and total miles driven, and amounts of disposable income available.
Each of those factors rings true in Massachusetts, where an enormous percentage of the population lives in or very close to Boston, drives many highway miles, and enjoys higher salary levels.
|Average Cost of Car Insurance in Massachusetts||$1,129.29|
|Average Cost of Car Insurance in New Hampshire||$818.75|
|Average Cost of Car Insurance in Vermont||$764.02|
|Average Cost of Car Insurance in Maine||$703.82|
|Countrywide Average Cost of Car Insurance||$1,009.38|
Four main issues play a role in the high and rising cost of car insurance in Massachusetts.
They include the following:
- Distracted Driving in Massachusetts
Drivers’ reluctance to turn off their technology when driving is responsible for an increasing number of accident claims.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 3,450 people died in 2016 because of distracted driving and 391,000 people were injured the year before for the same reason.
Cell phone usage, particularly among teen drivers, is the leading cause of distracted driving.
In Massachusetts, traffic deaths due to distracted driving topped out at 389 in 2016, more than ten percent of the nation’s total.
- Traffic Conditions in Massachusetts
Massachusetts highways are among the most densely populated by cars in the nation, often causing overloaded traffic conditions.
Only 13 states total more than one million vehicles per highway mile, and Massachusetts ranks sixth on that list according to the NAIC.
Inevitably, the more vehicles on the roadway, the more incidents occur. The more incidents occur, the more insurance companies pay out and the higher premiums rise.
- Disposable Income in Massachusetts
Disposable income—money that is left to spend after deducting taxes and fees—often mimics the cost of living in a state.
In states with a high cost of living, disposable income also tends to be high, with the reverse true in lower cost of living states.
The NAIC’s report shows that In Massachusetts, the average disposable income in 2014 was $50,366, the fourth highest in the nation. Similarly, the cost of living index in Massachusetts is significantly higher than the national average.
Disposable income and the cost of living index is reflective of many different commodities, like food, real estate, and car models. A larger percentage of higher-priced, luxury cars on the road is an added risk to insurance companies.
- Population Density in Massachusetts
Massachusetts is a very densely populated stated, ranking fourth in the country behind the District of Columbia, New Jersey and Rhode Island in the number of people per square mile.
Additionally, a whopping 99.4 percent of the population in Massachusetts lives in a metropolitan area.
It’s likelier that more densely populated areas will have high numbers of vehicles. Statistically, the more cars there are in any one area, the higher the propensity for an adverse event is to take place, which can negatively impact insurance rates.
Companies with the Cheapest Car Insurance in Massachusetts
Begin shopping for the cheapest car insurance in Massachusetts by requesting quotes from at least three different car insurance carriers.
When comparing, look at the big-name brands first. You’ll also find cut-rate insurance carriers, but they probably won’t offer the same level of service and stability as one of the large companies.
This is especially important with insurers, as financial resources directly affect a company’s ability to fulfill their claims.
During the process of looking at various quotes, read reviews of those companies and see how they rate compared to one another.
Finally, before choosing your insurance company, see what other benefits or insurance types they have to offer, so you can take advantage of additional discounts or combine your policies for homeowners or renters insurance.
As you comparison shop, consider these four major players in Massachusetts car insurance.
Allstate Car Insurance
Home of the Safe Driving Bonus Check that rewards you with money for every six accident-free months, Allstate has served drivers during more than 80 years.
It offers a wide variety of car insurance add-ons, as well as other coverages such as boat, motorcycle, and home insurance.
Progressive Car Insurance
Whether you take advantage of its Name Your Price Tool or simply enjoy the company’s highly competitive policies and bundles that can save you additional money on homeowner’s insurance, Progressive is one of the nation’s largest insurers with 18 million policies currently in effect.
Liberty Mutual Insurance
As its distinctive jingle rings memorably in your ears, consider that Liberty offers the New Car Replacement program to make sure you’re able to get the vehicle you need after a wreck.
The company also provides the ability to customize your coverage and insure additional vehicles like ATVs and motorcycles.
This leading name in life and disability insurance is also a big name in the car insurance field.
Metlife offers extra coverage to pay off leases or loans after a vehicle is totaled, financial reimbursements for new car replacements, and a variety of add-on programs like towing and roadside assistance.
What Is Mandatory for Car Insurance in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts, like most other states, mandates that drivers carry at least a minimal level of insurance to cover costs that are incurred when they cause a car accident.
Massachusetts law requires four coverage types:
- Bodily injury caused to others: $20,000 per person, $40,000 per incident
- Bodily injury caused by uninsured vehicle: $20,000 per person, $40,000 per incident
- Property damage caused to others: $5,000 per accident
- Personal injury protection: $8,000 per person per accident
The last insurance type, personal injury protection, is required by only a handful of states.
This coverage helps to pay for medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
In Massachusetts, you can select between covering only those on the policy or your entire household with personal injury protection.
Additionally, you may choose to add on collision or comprehensive insurance.
If your vehicle is leased or financed, your financial lender may require that you carry those coverage types.
Massachusetts also regulates who must be named or included on automobile insurance policies.
The Commonwealth states that all licensed drivers living within your household related to you by blood, adoption, or marriage must be listed on your insurance policy.
This stipulation is required even if those other licensed drivers have their own car insurance policies.
You can designate individuals who aren’t primary drivers on your vehicle as deferred operators, though, so your insurance coverage cost doesn’t increase. Some carriers don’t allow you to include deferred operators, but may allow you to complete an exclusion form instead to leave them off your policy.
Drivers who do not have a license and carry only a learner’s permit are not required to have insurance or be listed on yours.
The consequence of failing to carry proof of legally mandated coverage can be steep.
For a first offense when you are caught driving without insurance, you may have your license suspended for 60 days and pay a $500 fine. Subsequent offenses can take away your license for a year with fines totaling $5,000.
Moreover, if you are found to be at fault for an accident with no insurance coverage, those fines and license suspension times can go even higher.
Plus, you may be personally financially liable for any damage and injuries you may cause.
How to Reduce the Cost of Your Car Insurance Coverage in Massachusetts
As a consumer, you can employ a variety of means to reduce the cost of your car insurance in Massachusetts.
Some of the fastest and easiest ways to save money are to limit or eliminate any optional coverage types and raise your deductible for required coverage.
Be careful when you decide on either other those methods, however, and make sure you can afford to cover costs you do not insure along with your deductible amounts.
You can also find these types of discounts to reduce your insurance bill:
- Bundle multiple policies: Take advantage of discounts offered by some carriers when you take out multiple car insurance policies or pair your car insurance with boat, motorcycle, RV, ATV or house insurance.
- Adjust your vehicle usage: If you only use a particular vehicle for limited driving needs, make sure that your insurer is made aware, and updates your profile with an accurate estimate of mileage or time used.
- Capitalize on your safe driving: If you have a clean driving record, have taken drivers’ training courses, or have completed defensive driving classes, you may be able to cash in and save money.
- Highlight car or location safety: Let your insurance company know about all the safety features your vehicle has and your parking habits at home and work. If you consistently use covered parking, even at work, it might score you a discount.
What Can Increase the Cost of Your Car Insurance?
You may experience high car insurance costs or increasing rates if your Massachusetts driving record includes multiple infractions like tickets or accidents.
Additionally, if you’ve had canceled policies due to non-payment, your current attempts to get insurance may result in higher rates or mandated down payments.
Demographics can play a role in your car insurance costs as well.
- Younger drivers typically are charged higher rates than older drivers.
- Young men typically pay higher policy fees than young women.
- Single adults pay more than married adults.
- Newer or sportier vehicles may require more expensive policies than older cars with fewer bells and whistles.
Always represent yourself and your vehicle honestly and thoroughly to pay appropriate rates or car insurance.
Shopping for the cheapest car insurance in Massachusetts doesn’t have to be a huge hassle, once you understand the process.
Take some time for background research, look at a variety of reviews and ratings, investigate available discounts, and finally, choose the coverage that matches your needs and budget.*While we make every effort to keep our site updated, please be aware that "timely" information on this page, such as quote estimates, or pertinent details about companies, may only be accurate as of its last edit day. Huntley Wealth & Insurance Services and its representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Please consult your own legal or tax adviser.