Massachusetts drivers must maintain valid liability insurance to legally operate motor vehicles in the state. Plenty of insurance carriers offer policies that meet the state's minimum requirements, but that doesn't mean they are equal in terms of quality. The only way for drivers to pinpoint high-quality policies with affordable premiums is by collecting auto insurance quotes. Going without insurance entirely is never an option. There are many serious penalties for doing so, and driving without insurance also exposes drivers to major financial repercussions as well.
Knowing the basic auto insurance requirements of the Bay State is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, many people stick with the required minimums. This can be problematic because coverage limits on such policies are quite low. As a result, drivers can still end up owing huge amounts of money. Many drivers realize this and opt to buy more extensive coverage. Others need to consider the fact that millions of people drive in Massachusetts. Safe drivers are not immune to car accidents, so it's crucial to be prepared for the worst-case scenario. By collecting car insurance quotes in Massachusetts, drivers can easily find affordable policies with better features.
Who Drives in Massachusetts?
The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Massachusetts was 6,646,144 in 2012. Another agency, the Federal Highway Administration, keeps track of driving statistics for all 50 states. According to the FHA, there were 4,683,323 licensed drivers in Massachusetts as of November 2012, which means that 70.54 percent of the population was legally allowed to drive. 2,314,271 people, or 49.42 percent of all drivers, were men. 2,369,052 people, or 50.58 percent of all drivers, were women.
Auto insurance companies must strike a reasonable balance when calculating insurance premiums. They need to offer competitive rates to attract enough customers, but they also need to assign higher premiums to riskier drivers. Younger people aren't experienced drivers, so their premiums are generally pretty high. The FHA reports that there are 164,521 drivers aged 19 and below in Massachusetts, so they equal 3.5 percent of the driving population. Meanwhile, people between the ages of 45 and 49 totaled 481,787, which is equal to 10.3 percent of the driving population. There may be more older drivers than younger drivers, but excellent insurance is still a must.
Auto Insurance Requirements in Massachusetts
Any time a person is behind the wheel of a car in Massachusetts, he or she must have valid liability auto insurance. Some states give drivers alternative ways to show financial responsibility, but Massachusetts isn't one of them. Liability coverage is required to drive legally in the Bay State. As with other states that have liability insurance laws on the books, Massachusetts has strict minimum requirements as well. Drivers should know that it's generally best to buy more extensive coverage. Sticking with the minimums may expose a driver to financial burdens and other problems.
The basic requirements for liability car insurance in Massachusetts are:
- At least $20,000 in bodily injury coverage for one person
- At least $40,000 in bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- At least $5,000 in property damage coverage
The requirements don't stop there. Drivers must also have uninsured motorist coverage for the same minimums as liability coverage. Personal injury protection coverage that provides up to $8,000 in medical coverage for drivers, passengers and pedestrians is also required.
People who have clean driving records in Massachusetts may enjoy lower premiums through the state's Safe Driver Insurance Plan. The Merit Rating Bureau keeps track of this information, and insurance providers must honor these discounts.
Drivers must obtain RV-1 forms to prove that they carry liability auto insurance and that it meets the minimum requirements. Receiving a single traffic citation for driving without insurance can result in increased premiums, so drivers must be careful to keep proof of coverage with them at all times.
Many companies offer insurance policies in Massachusetts. Whether buying insurance for the first time or looking for better rates, drivers should always collect auto insurance quotes first.