The Bay State requires that every vehicle that is operated in Mass. must be insured. Individuals who own a motor vehicle that is found to be knowingly driven without auto insurance coverage will have the automobile’s registration revoked by the Registry of Motor Vehicles. MA is one of the minority states that implement the No-Fault system, which means that motorists must be covered by automobile policies that cover the injuries of the policyholder and those considered “insured” that result from a traffic accident. The majority of states require that drivers carry a policy that will solely compensate injuries to third parties.
In order for residents to comply with these no fault laws, Massachusetts car insurance policies must be purchased that contain Personal Injury Protection (PIP) consisting of a limit of no less than $8,000. Unlike some no-fault states, in addition to PIP, MA also requires liability coverage to be obtained to cover the injuries of others and have limits of $20,000 for the bodily injury of one person and $40,000 for the bodily injury of two or more people. In addition, and similar to most states, motorists must have compensation in place to pay for property damage that they may cause. In Mass., drivers must carry at least $5,000 in property damage liability. Massachusetts’ laws also mandate that resident-drivers protect against uninsured motorists by purchasing protection for bodily injury equal to the state’s minimum liability limits of $20,000 and $40,000.
Unfortunately, residents of the Bay State pay some of the highest premiums for automobile policies in the nation. It is believed that there are a few reasons for the inflated prices of coverage in the state and the major factor is the risk involved with insuring Massachusetts’ vehicles. According to the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR), the state has more bodily injury and property damage claims than almost any other state. Generally when insurers must absorb losses they must increase rates to offset payout which leads to more expensive auto insurance for residents. The state also has a higher than average cost of living and this translates into more expensive medical care, vehicle repair and court costs. These two factors combined not only means more claims, but higher payouts as well.
The good news for residents that own and operate vehicles is that there are ways to find the most affordable coverage possible and this best achieved by shopping around. Beginning April 1, 2008, car insurance companies were allowed to determine their own premiums which led to competition; rates must be approved by the Commissioner of Insurance. With competition usually comes a higher probability of finding the best price for any product, including automobile coverage. This is because carriers must now compete for the business of motorists and keep pricing attractive in order to obtain new customers. Consumers are urged to shop around to find the most inexpensive policy available from competitors.