Car Insurance Requirements in Massachusetts (2024)

Massachusetts drivers need to purchase a minimum amount of bodily injury liability, property damage liability, personal injury protection, and uninsured motorist coverage.

Kim Porter
Written byKim Porter
Kim Porter
Kim Porter
  • Co-authored the book “Future Millionaires’ Guidebook”

  • 13 years writing personal finance content

A former chief copy editor at Bankrate and past managing editor at Macmillan, Kim specializes in writing easy-to-understand, actionable personal finance content.

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Katie Powers
Edited byKatie Powers
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Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Updated April 1, 2024

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Car insurance requirements vary by state and can influence your auto insurance premium. Even though drivers have to purchase four types of required coverage, car insurance in Massachusetts is relatively cheap. State residents pay 17% less for full-coverage car insurance than the national average.

It’s crucial to maintain at least the minimum amount of coverage. Failure to do so can result in fines, license suspension, and more. Here’s what you should know about auto insurance requirements and average costs in Massachusetts.

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Massachusetts car insurance requirements

An auto insurance policy in Massachusetts must at least include the following types of coverages and minimum limits:

  • Bodily injury liability: $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident

  • Property damage liability: $5,000 per accident

  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury: $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident

  • Personal injury protection: $8,000 per accident[1]

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/f2ca9fa443/protection-for-passengers.svg

    Bodily injury liability

    Bodily injury liability insurance protects you from legal liability if you cause an accident that unintentionally injures or kills someone. The coverage can pay for the other driver’s medical bills, but it doesn’t cover your or your passengers’ injuries.[2]

    It pays for losses only if the accident happens in Massachusetts. Your bodily injury liability policy needs to have coverage limits of at least $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/169fdfde11/liability-coverage.svg

    Property damage liability

    Property damage liability coverage pays to repair or replace another person’s property if you, a household member, or someone else driving your car causes accidental damage to another person’s vehicle or other property.

    Your property damage liability policy needs to have at least $5,000 per accident in coverage limits.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/5285c4cd74/uninsured-or-underinsured-motorist-coverage.svg

    Uninsured motorist bodily injury

    Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage pays for your injuries if you have an accident with an uninsured driver or are the victim of a hit-and-run. This policy also covers your household members, passengers, and anyone you occasionally allow to drive your car.

    The minimum policy limits in Massachusetts for uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage are $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/abffe6238f/financial-protection.svg

    Personal injury protection

    Personal injury protection (PIP) covers your own medical expenses, certain replacement services, and up to 75% of lost wages after a covered incident. Massachusetts is a no-fault state, so PIP protects you regardless of who caused the accident.

    It also covers your passengers, household members, other people you let drive your car, and pedestrians. The minimum PIP coverage limit in Massachusetts is $8,000 per accident.

Massachusetts CARCO inspection

States that require pre-insurance inspections to curb insurance fraud include Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. CARCO is the main company that creates the inspection reports and sends them to insurers. These inspections can help prevent drivers from filing claims for pre-existing damage.

Each state has its own laws regarding pre-insurance inspections, including how much time you have to get the inspection. Because car sellers usually require you to have insurance before you buy a car, Massachusetts law gives you 10 days to do the inspection. So, you can get car insurance, buy the car, and then get the inspection.[3]

In Massachusetts, you’ll need to bring your motor vehicle to a designated CARCO inspection site. A professional will document the condition of your vehicle, including its features, accessories, vehicle identification number (VIN), and odometer. The inspector will take pictures and send a copy of the report to your insurer.[4]

Skipping the inspection could result in a suspension of your physical damage coverage, including collision and comprehensive coverage. You may want to ask an insurance professional about what you should do before you buy a car in Massachusetts because some drivers are exempt from the pre-insurance inspection.

Vehicle Inspection Requirements by State (2024)

Vehicle Inspection Requirements by State (2024)

Do you need more than state-minimum coverage in Massachusetts?

Legally, Massachusetts residents don’t need to buy more than the state-mandated coverage, but most insured drivers in the U.S. choose to buy comprehensive and collision insurance. Specifically, 79% of insured drivers buy comprehensive insurance, and 75% buy collision insurance.[5]

A full-coverage policy usually includes liability insurance, collision coverage, which pays for your vehicle repairs following an accident, and comprehensive coverage, which kicks in for damages from non-collision events, like vandalism or severe weather. If you finance or lease a vehicle, your lender will likely require you to purchase this coverage.

Even if you’ve paid off your car, you might decide to get full coverage if you think you’d struggle to pay for repairs after an incident. You might also choose to increase your policy limits for the state’s required coverages, including bodily injury and property damage liability, uninsured motorist, and PIP coverage.

Full-coverage car insurance provides you with more protection, but your cheapest option is liability-only coverage. Massachusetts residents pay $99 per month on average for a policy that meets the state’s minimum requirements. For $200 per month on average, drivers can get a full-coverage policy.

The cost of liability-only car insurance in Massachusetts

Massachusetts requires drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, including bodily injury liability and property damage liability. These coverages pay for the other driver’s medical costs and damages you cause in a car accident, but liability insurance won’t cover these costs for you or your passengers.

Because of its limitations, liability insurance is generally less expensive than full coverage. In Massachusetts, Midvale Home & Auto has the cheapest liability-only rates, averaging $68 per month.

Here are average monthly quotes from several top insurers in the state.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Monday, April 1 at 12:00 PM PDT
Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Midvale Home & Auto68
Safeco85
Liberty Mutual121
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

The cost of full-coverage car insurance in Massachusetts

After a covered incident, full-coverage car insurance can help pay for liability costs, repairs to your own property, and medical costs for you and your passengers. In Massachusetts, drivers pay an average of $200 per month for full-coverage car insurance.

Here are average monthly quotes from several top insurance companies in the state.

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Monday, April 1 at 12:00 PM PDT
Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Quote
Travelers79
Midvale Home & Auto110
Safeco157
Liberty Mutual210
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

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Penalties for driving without proof of insurance in Massachusetts

Once you buy an insurance policy, you must register the car with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and provide proof of insurance. The RMV adds your insurance information to your physical registration card and an electronic database.

You might need to show proof of vehicle registration and insurance to law enforcement in a few scenarios. If law enforcement catches you driving without insurance in Massachusetts, the penalties may include:[6]

  • A fine of $500 to $5,000

  • An additional fee of either $500 or the equivalent of one year’s insurance coverage under the Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan (whichever is greater)

  • A $500 fee to reinstate your driver’s license and registration[7]

  • Up to one year in jail

  • Suspension of driving privileges for at least 60 days and up to one year

The penalties depend on the incident and the number of violations on your record.

Optional car insurance coverages to consider

You might want to consider the following coverages for more protection, though they are optional in Massachusetts:

  • Collision: Even if you cause an accident, this coverage pays to repair or replace your car after an accident with another vehicle or collision with an object.

  • Comprehensive: This coverage pays to repair or replace your car after damage from a non-collision incident, such as theft, vandalism, or severe weather.

  • Roadside assistance: Specifics vary by each company, but this typically covers towing, jump-starts, flat-tire changes, and more for policyholders.

  • Rental reimbursement: If your car is at the repair shop after a covered incident, this pays for the costs of a rental car, up to a daily limit.

  • Gap: You should consider this coverage if you’re financing a car. If the car is a total loss after an accident, gap coverage pays the difference between your outstanding car loan balance and the amount you receive from the insurer for the totaled car.

Massachusetts car insurance requirements FAQs

Maintaining the minimum amount of coverage in Massachusetts is crucial because failure to do so can result in fines and other penalties. Here’s an overview of what you need to know.

  • Is car insurance required in Massachusetts?

    Yes. Massachusetts law requires car insurance. Your policy needs to have at least the minimum coverage required in the state, which includes:

    • $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident in bodily injury liability

    • $5,000 per accident in property damage liability

    • $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident in uninsured motorist bodily injury liability

    • $8,000 per accident in personal injury protection (PIP)

  • Which company has the cheapest car insurance rates in Massachusetts?

    Midvale Home & Auto has the cheapest liability-only rates in Massachusetts, averaging $68 per month for drivers with a clean record and $109 for drivers with infractions on their motor vehicle records. Massachusetts drivers can also find cheap liability insurance from Safeco and Liberty Mutual, which have average monthly rates of $85 and $121, respectively.

  • Do you need car insurance to register a car in Massachusetts?

    Yes. You need to show proof of car insurance to register and drive a vehicle in Massachusetts. The proof can come in the form of a physical or electronic ID card.

  • Does insurance follow the car or the driver in Massachusetts?

    A standard car insurance policy in Massachusetts follows the car, so the coverage also applies to other drivers who occasionally use it with your permission.

  • Do you need full coverage in Massachusetts?

    No. Massachusetts law doesn’t require full coverage. Your policy will need to include bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured bodily injury, and personal injury protection with at least the state-required minimum limits. That said, purchasing a full-coverage policy would provide more vehicle protection.

  • Does a driver need liability insurance in Massachusetts?

    Yes. Drivers in Massachusetts need to carry bodily injury liability and uninsured bodily injury coverage, both with limits of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. Drivers also need at least $5,000 in property damage liability coverage.

Methodology

Insurify data scientists analyzed more than 90 million quotes served to car insurance applicants in Insurify’s proprietary database to calculate the premium averages displayed on this page. These premiums are real quotes that come directly from Insurify’s 50+ partner insurance companies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quote averages represent the median price for a quote across the given coverage level, driver subset, and geographic area.

Unless otherwise specified, quoted rates reflect the average cost for drivers between 20 and 70 years old with a clean driving record and average or better credit (a credit score of 600 or higher).

Liability-only premium averages correspond to policies with the following coverage limits:

  • Bodily injury limits between state-minimum rates and $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage limits between $10,000 and $50,000
  • No additional coverage
Full-coverage premium averages correspond to the same bodily injury and property damage limits in addition to:
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible

Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Services’ database of auto insurance rates.

Sources

  1. Massachusetts Division of Insurance. "Basics of Auto Insurance."
  2. Insurance Information Institute. "Auto insurance basics—understanding your coverage."
  3. Massachusetts Division of Insurance. "211 CMR 94.00: Pre-Insurance Inspection of Private Passenger Motor Vehicles."
  4. CARCO. "Resources for Inspection Sites."
  5. Insurance Information Institute. "Facts + Statistics: Auto insurance."
  6. The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. "Section 34J: Operating motor vehicle without liability policy, bond or security deposit."
  7. The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. "Section 33: Fees."
Kim Porter
Kim Porter

Kim Porter is a writer and editor who's been creating personal finance content since 2010. Before transitioning to full-time freelance writing in 2018, Kim was the chief copy editor at Bankrate, a managing editor at Macmillan, and co-author of the personal finance book "Future Millionaires' Guidebook." Her work has appeared in AARP's print magazine and on sites such as U.S. News & World Report, Fortune, NextAdvisor, Credit Karma, and more. Kim loves to bake and exercise in her free time, and she plans to run a half marathon on each continent.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

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