When it comes to buying Massachusetts car insurance you can pretty much ignore comparing rates and concentrate on customer service and satisfaction. It won’t matter how inexpensive your rate is if the insurance carrier doesn’t want to pay your claims.
Massachusetts has the fourth highest car insurance rate in the country and a program that is, at times, fallen under much scrutiny.
Every fall the Massachusetts Attorney General issues a recommendation for car insurance rates for the upcoming year. This is followed by a recommendation from the state’s auto insurance company trade association. The two recommendations are usually miles apart and then the dance begins until the insurance rates are eventually set by the Division of Insurance for the state of Massachusetts, which also regulates the commissions that independent car insurance agents can charge.
Also, you can’t register a car in Massachusetts until you have the minimum required car insurance The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles makes sure of this by requiring your car insurance company to stamp your application for registration. No stamp, no registration.
If you’re thinking about canceling your MA auto insurance policy once you have the stamp and your registration you can, but to do so is illegal and may subject you heavy fines and license suspension.
There are minimum requirements for car insurance in the state of Massachusetts. You must carry bodily injury coverage of at least $20,000 per person in any one accident and up to $40,000 for all people injured in any one accident.
Also you are required to have at least $5,000 in property damage coverage. Property damage coverage insures you against injury or destruction of property of another person’s property.
In addition, you must have personal injury protection in the amount of at least $8,000. Personal injury protection (PIP) pays medical and lost wages without regard to who was at fault in the event of an accident.
These are just minimum requirements, but it might be a good idea to purchase additional coverage for such things as uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM), as well as collision and comprehensive car insurance Remember, you may be held financially responsible for any expenses that are over and above your car insurance limits. Some car insurance companies recommend that you carry at least $100,000 worth of liability and personal injury coverage, although if you can reasonably afford it, you might want to consider increasing that amount to $500,000.
A byproduct of the Massachusetts state government and insurance companies working together to set rates is the Safe Driver Program. This program is designed to put the greater burden of insurance rates on drivers who make the most insurance claims and to reward drivers who have safe driving records. For example, if you get a ticket or are found to be at fault in a car accident with damages of more than $500, you will have to pay certain mandated insurance surcharges, and those can add up pretty fast.
Massachusetts also uses a point system. If you get a ticket, or are involved in an accident anywhere from one to five points will be charged to your driver’s license. Each point could mean up to a 15 percent increase on each of the four required parts of your car insurance This could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and there is no way to remove the points from your license other than time and maintaining a clean driving record.
Massachusetts, unlike some other states, does not allow you to attend a driver’s school to reduce points.
So if you live in Massachusetts you may not have a lot of choice when it comes to insurance premiums, but you do have a choice in what car insurance company you choose to deal with. When choosing your Massachusetts car insurance company you may want to pay attention to how well they communicate. Find out if they have 24/7 claims service, if you can pay your premiums online, and how fast claims are paid. You might want to shop around and find the car insurance company that offers you all the customer service features you require.
Oh, and when you drive through Cambridge, you might want to visit Harvard, founded in 1636. It is the oldest American university in the country. No matter where you drive in Massachusetts drive safely and follow the speed limit.