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General Massachusetts Insurance Guidelines
Massachusetts currently requires that all drivers be covered under liability insurance. Proof of insurance must always be accessible in the vehicle.
Minimum Liability Coverage in Massachusetts
Massachusetts' minimum liability amounts are as follows:
- $20,000 bodily injury per person.
- $40,000 total bodily injury per accident.
- $5,000 total property damage per accident.
These are only the minimum requirements set by the state. Experts advise protecting your assets by getting more coverage than the state-mandated minimums as these limits tend not to keep pace with the ever-increasing costs of car repairs and medical bills. Most drivers also add comprehensive and collision insurance to their policies to cover possible damage to their own cars as well.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Some states require drivers to carry UM/UIM, or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects a driver if they get in an accident where the other party does not have auto insurance. Massachusetts requires UM/UIM coverage. The minimum UM/UIM coverage amounts for Massachusetts are $20,000 per person, $40,000 per accident.
Some states have no-fault car insurance laws where a policyholder will be reimbursed by their insurance company without proof of fault, and restricted in the right to seek reimbursement through the court system for losses caused by other parties. Massachusetts is a no-fault state.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Some states have Personal Injury Protection or “PIP” regulations requiring drivers to carry PIP insurance. This is an extension of auto insurance that covers medical expenses, lost wages and/or other damages. Massachusetts requires drivers to purchase PIP insurance. The minimum PIP coverage amounts for Massachusetts are $8,000.00
SR-22 Requirements for Massachusetts
An SR-22 insurance form is a vehicle liability insurance document to be filed with a state’s DMV as proof that a driver has the minimum required liability insurance coverage for that state. SR-22 filings are usually only required to reinstate driving privileges after an offense such as a DUI conviction, uninsured auto accident or driving without insurance. Massachusetts requires an SR-22 filing for driver’s license reinstatement.
Massachusetts DUI Laws
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in the United States with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level of 0.08% or higher. All states have driver licensing laws that state that a licensed driver has given implied consent to a field sobriety test and/or method of determining BAC. This means that a driver is required to take such tests if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds for administering one, with automatic penalties for refusing to comply. If BAC is determined to be above the legal level a driver will be penalized in various ways. The first DUI offense penalties for Massachusetts are:
- Up to 30 months imprisonment
- $500–$5,000 fine
- $250 assessment fine
- $50 DUI victim trust fund
- 1-year license suspension
- Court assigned treatment program
Special Insurance Regulations for Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts used to operate under a "fixed and established" system for setting auto insurance premiums, where the Commonwealth determined what auto insurance rates would be, rather than the insurance companies. Under this system, all Massachusetts insurance companies charged the same premiums, based on particular categories of rates, for every driver. Massachusetts has since changed its auto insurance system to introduce managed competition. This means that Massachusetts drivers can compare companies and choose the coverage they want. It also allows insurers to be more competitive by setting their own rates.
Additional Information on Insurance for Massachusetts
For more information, please contact Massachusetts Division of Insurance: 1-617-521-7794 or visit their website at www.mass.gov/doi.