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Massachusetts Car Insurance

In Massachusetts, auto insurance laws recently changed to a more competitive, rather than state managed, system. In fact, Massachusetts was the last state to make the change, in 2008, to a competitive ratings system. This means that drivers need to know the effects of this change, the current required and recommended coverage limits, and how to locate appropriate protection at an affordable cost.

Changes to Massachusetts Car Insurance Rate Setting Policies

Due to a severe decrease in the number of insurers will to write policies in the state, and the rising cost to consumers, Massachusetts switched over to a managed competition policy of setting insurance rates in April of 2008. The number of insurers had declined from 35 to 19 companies between 1990 and 2008. Since changing over to the more competitive system, nine more companies have entered the market in the state for private passenger insurance coverage.

According to the state's Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulation (OCABR) the change has also resulted in:

  • An average 8.2% decrease in premiums per vehicle
  • A 13% decrease in uninsured vehicles on the roads

In addition to this, a state study discovered that consumers who understood the changes were 60% more likely to save money on their auto insurance costs. As you consider these factors, you should also be aware that 69% of Massachusetts drivers buy their insurance through agents, rather than purchasing it directly. This is twice the national average. This is less a fact of good or bad, than it indicates that many consumers are unaware of other options for comparing policies and purchasing coverage in less conventional methods. Using a quote tool, like the one above, allows consumers to compare rates directly via the Internet. While this method doesn't appeal to everyone, it is something to be aware of.

Massachusetts Car Insurance: Required and Recommended Limits

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance does require that all drivers have minimal protection in the form of automobile insurance. Compulsory Coverage refers to the insurance that you must purchase by law to be a registered driver in this state.

Liability coverage is required in the amount of 20/40/5 which means you must carry $20,000 in per person liability, $40,000 in per accident liability, and $5,000 in property liability. Of course, depending on the damages and your personal finances, this may not be enough coverage. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is required in $8,000 and uninsured auto coverage is set at 20/40. This is a no-fault state, so your insurer will pay out whether you or the other driver is the cause of an accident.

There are car insurance calculators on line to help you determine the appropriate amount of coverage to protect your assets and family. Many agents simply tell consumers that you should buy as much coverage as you can afford; while this may be true, it's not really very helpful. A good rule of thumb for liability is to go with 100/300/100 for liability. This seems to be the expert recommendation for those who can afford it. A few states have even set their minimums in these amounts.

How to Find Massachusetts Car Insurance Providers

As you look for a car insurance provider, remember to look at the rating of each insurer, the costs and benefits of specific policies, and to compare a minimum of three options. To compare insurers you can look at financial strength ratings from A.M. Best or Standard & Poor's. To compare costs and benefits you can work through an independent agent who will ask you questions and gather the information on your behalf, contact each insurer on your own, or use a quote tool. The benefit of the quote tool is that you simply enter information online on your own time and then get multiple quotes based on the same criteria. This works well for those who don't feel they need a live person to walk them through the process. On the other hand, you may prefer to take the time to speak to a live person at each company.

The list below is for companies writing private passenger car insurance in the state as of July 2009. It is from OCABR, and you can visit that site for updates at any time.

  • American Automobile Insurance Company (Fireman’s Fund)
  • Amica Mutual Insurance Company
  • Arbella Mutual Insurance Company
  • Citizens Insurance Company of America (Hanover)
  • Commerce Insurance Company
  • Electric Insurance Company
  • Encompass Insurance Company of Massachusetts
  • Farm Family Casualty Insurance Company
  • Harleysville Insurance Company
  • IDS Property Casualty Company (Ameriprise)
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance Company
  • Massachusetts Homeland Insurance Company (OneBeacon)
  • Metropolitan Property and Casualty Ins. Company
  • NGM Insurance Company
  • Norfolk & Dedham Mutual Fire Insurance Company
  • Occidental Insurance Company
  • Peerless Insurance
  • Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation
  • Praetorian Insurance Company
  • Preferred Mutual Insurance Company
  • Premier Insurance Company of Massachusetts
  • Progressive Insurance Company
  • Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Company
  • Safety Insurance Company
  • State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
  • United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
  • Vermont Mutual Insurance Company

Compare Massachusetts Car Insurance Quotes Online!

Whether you decide to take the traditional route and contact each insurer, or streamline the process with the abilities of online options, take the time to compare your choices. Insurance is a personal need to cover your assets and loved ones. A little comparison shopping now can save you time and money when you need it most.

Get started finding MA car insurance quotes online now!

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