Motorists in Massachusetts can obtain competitively-priced car insurance quotes from a number of different resources but there are a series of obligations that they must adhere to. As with every other US state, it is a mandatory requirement to purchase auto insurance coverage although the rates applied will inevitably differ from other areas.
It is a compulsory requirement to carry proof of insurance when operating a vehicle in Massachusetts and if the relevant documentation can’t be provided, motorists can face a fine of up to $5,000 and a year of imprisonment. By obtaining auto insurance quotes when a new car is purchased, or when a current policy is ready for renewal, drivers can avoid these strict violation penalties.
The minimum state mandatory levels of insurance coverage in Massachusetts remain intact even though recent changes in the way that the state controls prices have taken place. Drivers should never take to the road without the following levels of auto insurance:
- A minimum of $20,000 of bodily injury liability per person
- A minimum of $40,000 of bodily injury liability per accident
- A minimum of $5,000 of property damage liability
- A minimum of $20,000 of uninsured/underinsured motorist protection per person
- A minimum of $40,000 of uninsured/underinsured motorist protection per accident
- Personal injury protection to the value of $8,000
Regrettably, there will be a number of motorists in Massachusetts who will be unable to find competitively-priced car insurance quotes. Indeed, those with multiple violations may find it all but impossible to find themselves coverage. Because of these potential problems, the state has integrated the Massachusetts Auto Insurance Plan (MAIP) into the existing network so that drivers having difficulty in obtaining coverage can be assigned to a private insurer for coverage purposes.
Massachusetts operates under the no-fault insurance system. This essentially means that responsibility is waivered at the time of an accident and any subsequent claims for injury are made under the terms and conditions of one’s own policy. However, claims for damage to property will still be made in the traditional manner and the insurance company of the at-fault driver will be responsible for any subsequent payouts.
Since April 2008, the auto insurance market in Massachusetts has seen some significant alterations. Previously, auto insurance quotes were offered at fixed prices so motorists would rarely see the benefits of comparison shopping. Effectively, all insurers operating within the state adhered to guidelines that prevented them from offering discounted premiums. Today, insurance companies are allowed to adjust their rates as a means of offering drivers a better deal on their long-term coverage plans.
Although safer drivers will benefit from the discounts applied through the new system, those with violations or at-fault accidents on their records will see a number of surcharges on their car insurance quotes. All insurance carriers that are licensed to operate in Massachusetts can use their own merit plans to establish prices or, alternatively, they retain the right to apply the standard state merit plan.
One of the most important aspects of auto insurance in Massachusetts is purchasing the correct levels of coverage. Although property damage liability will cover the cost of repairs to third party vehicles should the policyholder be found to be at fault in a road traffic accident, it will not allow for repairs to the vehicle of the insured party. If a motorist is driving a newer vehicle with an outstanding lease, loan or lien secured against it, the policyholder should seriously consider upgrading their policy to include collision damage and this can be done when auto insurance quotes are offered prior to a policy purchase. In addition, motorists may wish to consider comprehensive coverage and GAP insurance.
The importance of personal injury protection can never be underestimated and this vital element of protection is obligatory in the state of Massachusetts. If injuries are sustained by the policyholder or any other passengers in their vehicle at the time of an accident, personal injury protection will cover the first £8,000 worth of costs attributed to medical expenses. In the event of a serious accident, the £8,000 limit will rarely cover medical costs and an existing health insurance plan may need to be claimed upon to meet any shortfalls. Any subsequent use of a health insurance plan will not extend to the cost of injuries sustained by passengers in the insured vehicle.
There are many reasons why an individual might choose to use their vehicles without adequate insurance coverage. While some motorists simply choose to flout the laws applied within the state of Massachusetts, there will be those who simply can’t afford insurance at all, or can’t afford to purchase the minimum level of mandatory coverage required. Protection against uninsured and underinsured drivers is an integral part of all car insurance quotes and if the policyholder is involved in any subsequent incidents with this type of driver, the correct levels of insurance will cover the cost of injuries, loss of earnings at work and funeral expenses.
The state of Massachusetts takes the subject of auto insurance very serious and a number of severe penalties are in place for those who choose to ignore requirements. If a motorist is involved in an accident or becomes the subject of a routine traffic stop, they will be asked to provide proof of insurance on the spot. If a motorist is found to be operating a vehicle without coverage, fines can be implemented and these can range from $500 to $5,000. In addition, motorists committing a violation can also face up to a full year behind bars. Furthermore, vehicle registrations and driving privileges may become the subject of suspension and this will be reflected in any subsequent car insurance quotes.
If vehicle registration and driving privileges are taken away, it will cost $500 to have them restored although proof of insurance will also be needed. This can lead to an incredibly expensive outlay because any subsequent insurance costs are likely to be applied at the highest rate possible.