Accidents can happen to anyone, even the most careful drivers. That why vehicle owners in Boston are required by law to carry car insurance. From fender-benders on Huntington Avenue to serious collisions on I-90, a good auto insurance policy can shield you from large financial losses as a result.
It is easy to find good car insurance at a great price when you work with an independent agent. These local agents can help you obtain and compare customized car insurance quotes from some of the best car insurance companies in Boston, MA. Contact an insurance agent near you to get started.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Boston, MA?
The average cost of car insurance in Massachusetts is higher than the national average. Comparing rates from a variety of insurance companies enables you to get your policy at the most competitive price.
- National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
- Massachusetts average annual car insurance cost: $1,460
These average rates can only give you a general idea of what you might actually be expected to pay. Car insurance costs are based on several different factors so they will vary a lot from one driver to the next. Your premiums can be affected by things like the following.
- Your vehicle’s make, model, and year
- Your age, occupation, marital status, and driving history
- Details about the other licensed drivers in your household
- Your insurance claims history
- Whether you own or rent your home
- The amount of liability coverage you are purchasing
- The options you are including in your policy
- The size of your deductible
You can typically earn rate reductions if you bundle your car insurance with other policies like home insurance or renters insurance. Many insurance providers also offer other money saving incentives like good student discounts and safe driver discounts.
What Are the Minimum Car Insurance Requirements in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, all car insurance policies must include the following.
- Personal injury protection insurance (PIP): This can cover lost wages and medical treatments if you or your family sustain injuries in a collision, regardless of fault. Your policy must have:
- PIP coverage of at least $8,000 per incident
- Liability insurance: This pays for other people’s injuries and property damage if you cause a collision. Massachusetts is a no-fault state, so the injured party’s PIP coverage will provide the first line of defense for their medical bills. Your policy must have:
- Bodily injury liability coverage of at least $20,000 per person and $40,000 per incident
- Property damage liability coverage of at least $5,000 per incident
- Uninsured motorist insurance (UIM): This can pay for your medical treatments and property damage if you are in an accident caused by an uninsured, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver and your incurred cost exceeds what your own insurance can cover. Your policy must have:
- UIM bodily injury coverage of at least $20,000 per person and $40,000 per incident
UIM property damage coverage is also available, but it is not required.
If you cause a serious collision that involves multiple vehicles or serious injuries, a minimum coverage policy may not have liability limits that are high enough to cover your financial obligations. That is why many drivers in Boston opt to purchase more coverage than the state requires.
If you have a lot to lose and want even more liability coverage than your car insurance policy can offer, you can also purchase umbrella insurance. This is an affordable way to significantly boost all of your personal liability coverage.
What Else Can Boston Car Insurance Cover?
In addition to the mandatory liability coverage mentioned above, most car insurance providers offer a variety of coverage options that you may want to consider including in your Boston auto insurance policy. These options include the following.
- Collision and comprehensive insurance: These two types of insurance together are sometimes referred to as “full coverage.” Full coverage is typically required by lenders if you are still paying for your vehicle and by dealerships if you have it on a lease.
- Collision insurance: This pays for the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if is it damaged or totaled in a collision, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive insurance: This pays for the cost to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged or totaled in a non-collision event like a flood or hailstorm.
- Towing and roadside assistance: This pays for the cost of assistance if your car becomes disabled, such as if you get a flat tire or your car won’t start.
- Gap insurance: This can pay off your car loan if your vehicle is totaled in a covered event and you own more for it than the car is worth. This coverage is beneficial during the first two or three years of new car ownership when cars depreciate in value quickly.
- Rental car reimbursement: This pay for the cost of renting a vehicle while your car is being repaired following a covered event.
When you take the time to review the details of your optional coverage as well as how much each would cost to add to your policy, you can best determine which are a good fit for you and your family.
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What Is the Penalty for Driving without Insurance in Boston?
Driving without insurance is illegal in Massachusetts. If caught, you will be charged with a civil motor vehicle infraction (CMVI). This comes with several penalties such as ones below.
- A fine ranging from $500 to $5,000
- An additional fine of $500 or one full year of premium compulsory car insurance (whichever is larger)
- A $25 filing fee if you want to fight the charge in a hearing
- The suspension of your driver’s license for 60 days to one year
- A reinstatement fee of $500 to be paid to the state’s assigned risk plan to get your driver’s license back
- Possible incarceration for up to one year
- Higher car insurance rates
Because of these harsh consequences, it comes as no surprise that this state has one of the lowest rates of uninsured drivers in the country.
- Percentage of US drivers who are uninsured: 12.6%
- Percentage of Massachusetts drivers who are uninsured: 6.2%
If you are in a collision caused by an uninsured driver, that person is responsible for compensating you for property damage and any medical costs that exceed what your PIP can cover.
Uninsured motorist insurance was created to ensure that you can receive timely compensation without the need to take legal action to get reimbursed. After compensating you, your insurance company will attempt to collect the money owed by uninsured driver and will absorb the costs if unsuccessful.
Does Boston Car Insurance Cover against Auto Theft?
The auto theft rate in the state of Massachusetts, and in Boston specifically, is lower than the national rate. That is not to say the risk does not exist. Residents of this city report more than 1,000 auto thefts a year.
- National auto theft rate per 1,000 people: 2.29
- Massachusetts auto theft rate per 1,000 people: 0.96
- Boston auto theft rate per 1,000 people: 1.66
It is important to be aware that you can only get compensation for a stolen vehicle if your car insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage.
If you are leasing your car or you are still paying on your auto loan, chances are good you have comprehensive coverage already. If not, you may want to look into how much it will cost you to add this optional coverage to your Boston car insurance policy.
How Can an Independent Agent in Boston Help You Find the Best Car Insurance?
You can ask a local independent agent for help when you are looking for an ideal car insurance policy to meet your coverage and budgetary needs. These agents work for you, not for a particular insurance company, so they are free to shop around to find the coverage you want at a price you can afford.
It doesn’t cost anything to speak with an independent insurance agent. If you are ready to start comparing customized car insurance quotes from some of the best insurance companies in Boston, MA, contact an insurance agent near you.
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