From Stockbridge to Gloucester, Fall River to Lowell , Massachusetts has thousands of miles of roadways. They’ll take you from downtown Boston to Cape Cod, from the Berkshire Mountains to the Charles River. They’re used by more than 4.6 million licensed drivers, who each put in an average of 8,300 miles a year. Along the way, those drivers are involved in thousands of traffic accidents every year, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in the Bay State, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to Massachusetts’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
Massachusetts state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines and jail time. Massachusetts is a no-fault state. That means your insurance will pay your injury claims up to a specified limit, regardless of who caused the accident. Under a no-fault system, you lose some of your rights to sue for damages.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for Massachusetts drivers is:
$20,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$40,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
$5,000 property damage liability
$8,000 personal injury protection
Note that there are two types of PIP offered in Massachusetts: policyholder only covers only those people named as the policyholders; and household, which covers the policyholder and any other household members. Massachusetts does not require you to carry additional coverage such as Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist or Collision and Comprehensive. However, If you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
Penalties for Failure to Carry Massachusetts Auto Insurance
You are required by law to carry proof of Massachusetts car insurance in your car and show it if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. Failure to do so can result in fines between $500 and $5,000, up to a year in jail or both. Once convicted, your driver’s license can be suspended for 60 days, along with your registration and plate tags.
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Massachusetts Car Insurance Premiums
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the Massachusetts Office of Insurance Regulation. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
The type of car you are insuring
Prior auto insurance coverage
How much you drive
Your driving record
Your marital status
Your geographic location
How long you’ve been driving
Whether or not you use your car for business
Massachusetts does not allow insurers to consider your credit rating to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest Massachusetts Car Insurance Policy
You may be able to lower the cost of your premiums in the following ways:
Ask about available discounts for good driving habits, anti-theft devices, multiple cars on one policy, bundling your car insurance with your homeowners or renters policy, automatic or online payments and driving a hybrid or electric car
Compare quotes from a variety of providers on this website
Eliminate unnecessary coverage
Check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program your state may offer
New Massachusetts Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in Massachusetts. The following laws have recently been enacted in Massachusetts and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
Massachusetts bans all forms of text-based communication while driving. Novice drivers cannot use handheld or hands-free cell phones.
Since 2008, Massachusetts has required the use of a child safety seat for children 5 to 7, or until they reach 4’9”.