Accidents happen. That’s why if you own a vehicle in Northampton, you are required by Massachusetts law to have car insurance. From fender-benders on King Street to major collisions on Interstate 91, a reliable auto insurance policy can shield you from large financial losses following an accident.
Finding the best car insurance is easy when you work with an independent agent. These agents can provide you with a variety of customized auto insurance quotes so you can be sure you are getting your coverage at a competitive price. Find an insurance agent near you to get started.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Northampton, MA?
The average cost of car insurance in Massachusetts is higher than the national rate. Shopping around for the best rates has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars a year.
- National average annual car insurance cost: $1,311
- Massachusetts average annual car insurance cost: $1,460
Of course, car insurance costs can vary significantly from one driver to the next, so you can expect your actual quotes rates to differ from the state’s average. Prices for coverage are calculated individually according to several factors such as:
- The make, model, trim, and year of your the vehicle(s) you are insuring
- Your age, occupation, driving history, and credit score
- The estimated number of miles you drive your car each year
- The accident and auto theft rates in the vicinity of your home
- The amount of coverage you are purchasing
- Whether you are including any offered coverage options
- Whether you are bundling your coverage with another policy like home insurance or renters insurance
When it comes to car insurance, experience matters. Therefore, you can expect that a freshman at Smith College will be charged higher rates than a 45-year-old stay-at-home mom with a good driving record.
Comparing rates from lets you be sure you getting your policy at a competitive price. Independent insurance agents make comparison shopping simple and stress-free.
What Are the Car Insurance Requirements in Northampton?
As a vehicle owner in Northampton, you must be compliant with Massachusetts’s car insurance laws. This is a no-fault state, meaning that your car insurance company will cover the cost of your injuries in an accident up to a certain point, regardless of fault.
Liability insurance is designed to cover damages and injuries sustained by other people if you cause an accident. PIP insurance is designed to your own cover injuries sustained in a collision, regardless of fault. Uninsured motorist insurance covers bodily injuries caused by an uninsured driver.
Your car insurance policy must include, at a minimum, the following amounts of coverage:
- Bodily injury liability insurance: $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident
- Property damage liability insurance: $5,000 per accident
- Uninsured motorist insurance: $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident
- Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance: $8,000 per accident
The costs associated with a serious collision can easily exceed what a minimum coverage policy will pay for. If this happens, you would have to make up the different out of pocket. That is why many residents of Northampton opt to purchase car insurance with more liability insurance than the state requires.
If you have a lot to lose, you can further boost your liability coverage by purchasing umbrella insurance. Talk to your local insurance agent to find out how much it will cost you to obtain different levels of liability coverage.
What Else Can Northampton Car Insurance Cover?
In addition to the coverage that is required by state law, insurance companies will give you the option of including any or all of the following coverage options in your car insurance policy:
- Comprehensive insurance: This can pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged by a non-collision event such as a flood, fire, or falling object. (This may be required by your lender if you are still paying for your vehicle, or by the dealership if you are leasing it.)
- Collision insurance: This can pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged in a collision, regardless of fault. (This may be required by your lender if you are still paying for your vehicle, or by the dealership if you are leasing it.)
- Gap insurance: This can bridge the gap between what you currently owe for your vehicle and what your vehicle is worth if the vehicle is totaled. This coverage can be particularly beneficial if you own a rapidly depreciating new car.
- Towing and roadside assistance insurance: This pay for assistance if your vehicle becomes disabled while you are out on the road.
- Rental reimbursement insurance: This can pay for the cost of renting a vehicle while repairs are being made to your car following a covered event.
Talk to an insurance agent in Northampton to learn more about these coverage options for help determining which, if any, are a good fit for you.
What Is the Penalty for Driving without Insurance in Massachusetts?
Driving without insurance in Massachusetts is illegal. If you are caught, you will be charged with a civil motor vehicle infraction (CMVI). This comes with some rather harsh penalties. You could find yourself facing:
- Fines ranging from $500 to $5,000
- Incarceration for up to one year
- 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 (MAIP)
In other words, driving without insurance is just not worth the risk. Despite this, more than one in twenty drivers on the roads in this state are operating uninsured vehicles. This is why uninsured motorist insurance, which is required in Massachusetts, is so important.
- 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, underinsured, or hit-and-run driver, uninsured motorist insurance will ensure that you have coverage for any medical bills that go beyond what your personal injury protection insurance will cover. Talk to your agent to learn more about this coverage.
Does Northampton Car Insurance Cover against Vehicle Thefts?
The auto theft rate in Massachusetts is lower than the national average. And in Northampton, the risk is even lower. Residents of this city report about 18 auto thefts a year.
- National auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 2.94
- Massachusetts auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 1.18
- Northampton, MA auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles: 0.63
Despite the law theft rate, you should be aware that you cannot be compensated for a stolen car unless your auto insurance policy includes comprehensive, or “other than collision” insurance.
Comprehensive insurance covers against far more than just theft. It can also reimburse you for loss and damage to your car due to a variety of other non-collision hazards. Talk to your insurance agent to find out how much it will cost you to add comprehensive coverage to your car insurance policy.
Why Contact an Independent Insurance Agent in Northampton, MA?
Vehicle owners in Northampton can turn to an independent agent for help finding a reliable auto insurance policy that meets their coverage and budgetary needs. These agents are free to work with several insurance providers, so they can shop around for the best and most affordable policies.
Find an independent insurance agent in or near Northampton to learn more. You can start comparing customized car insurance quotes in no time.
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