What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, car insurance is a prerequisite before you register your car. Massachusetts’ car insurance laws state you need to buy several compulsory coverages. These include liability insurance, personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage.

A policy meeting Massachusetts’ car insurance requirements includes the following:

  • $20,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $40,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $5,000 for property damage per accident
  • $8,000 for personal injury protection
  • $20,000 for bodily injury per person from an uninsured motorist
  • $40,000 for bodily injury per accident from an uninsured motorist
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What Does This Minimum Coverage Mean?

If you look through a state minimum insurance policy, you’ll see the liability limits written as 20/40/5. It means your insurance protects you from the cost of medical bills in an at-fault accident up to $40,000 per accident, with a cap of $20,000 per person. It also covers up to $5,000 of expenses from property damage.

Massachusetts’ minimum insurance requirements also include personal injury protection (PIP) — you must have $8,000 worth of coverage. Since Massachusetts is a no-fault state, it means your provider will pay these expenses for you or your passengers regardless of who caused the accident.

Lastly, uninsured motorist insurance (UM) completes Massachusetts’ car insurance requirements. It protects you from medical costs if the other driver is uninsured. It also helps if you were a victim of a hit-and-run. Its minimum limit is similar to your liability coverage of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident for bodily injury.

How Much Does the Minimum Car Insurance Cost in Massachusetts?

The average cost of car insurance in Massachusetts is $1,112 per year. When you request a quote using your personal information, you may notice your rate is different. It’s because several factors affect car insurance premiums. These include your age, driving record and ZIP code, among others. Most states use more information when setting policy prices, but Massachusetts prohibits using credit scores to calculate insurance rates.

Another factor that impacts the cost of car insurance in Massachusetts is the provider you choose. Although carriers use the same information, they calculate rates differently. Comparing quotes from several providers can help you find an affordable policy. Among car insurance providers, State Farm offers the most affordable car insurance in Massachusetts, with a minimum policy at $323 per year on average.

These prices are only estimates based on rates for an average Massachusetts driver and should not be used to compare insurance prices.

The table shows the rate for policies meeting Massachusetts’ minimum car insurance requirements of 20/40/5. These also include other mandatory coverages such as PIP coverage worth $8,000 and UM insurance with limits of $40,000 per accident and $20,000 per person for bodily injuries. MoneyGeek used a driver profile of a 40-year-old male with a clean history driving a 2010 Toyota Camry.

If you're instead looking for a policy that balances quality with affordability, MoneyGeek also ranked the top car insurance companies in Massachusetts.

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What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Requirement in Massachusetts While Leasing a Car?

A policy fulfilling Massachusetts’ minimum car insurance requirements may not be enough if you’re leasing a car. Leasing companies often require policyholders to carry full coverage car insurance with liability limits of at least 100/300/50. Lenders determine the minimum car insurance requirements for leased cars in Massachusetts, not the state. Understandably, they may require higher-than-usual coverage limits for their assets.

Leasing companies may have varying requirements. The best way to get specific information is to get in touch with your lender directly. You may take this opportunity to also ask about other pertinent details, such as their processes and payment terms.

Although a policy meeting Massachusetts’ minimum car insurance requirements is enough to allow you to drive in the state, MoneyGeek recommends that you purchase a full coverage policy with at least 50/100/50 liability limits. Although it may cost you more each year, it provides more protection and decreases the possibility of paying for expenses out of your pocket should costs exceed the minimum limits.

You can also opt to increase coverage limits for uninsured motorist insurance, although Massachusetts has one of the lowest percentages of uninsured drivers in the country. Only 3.5% of drivers don’t have coverage, making it second-best in this regard among all states. The only state with a lower percentage is New Jersey.

These are all the factors to consider when deciding how much insurance you need.

Penalties for Driving Without Car Insurance in Massachusetts

Driving uninsured is illegal in Massachusetts. Driving with no insurance may result in the following penalties in Massachusetts:

  • A $500 fine for the first offense
  • A fine of $500–5,000 for subsequent offenses
  • An additional $500 in fees to the state’s assigned risk plan
  • An additional $70 in fees if you request a hearing
  • Suspension of your license and registration for 60 days for the first offense and for one year for subsequent offenses
  • A $500 reinstatement fee for each offense
  • Possible jail time of up to one year

Frequently Asked Questions About Car Insurance in Massachusetts

Most drivers have questions about car insurance laws in Massachusetts. Here are the commonly asked ones.

You're required to have car insurance in Massachusetts. You need to show proof of financial responsibility if you want to drive in the state. Driving with no insurance in Massachusetts may result in various penalties.

You must show proof of insurance to have your car registered in Massachusetts. Besides that, the DMV also requires an out-of-state title and registration application, if applicable.

Massachusetts’ minimum car insurance requirements require you to purchase a policy with the following coverages:

  • $20,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $40,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $5,000 for property damage per accident
  • $8,000 for personal injury protection
  • $20,000 for bodily injury per person from an uninsured motorist
  • $40,000 for bodily injury per accident from an uninsured motorist

Generally, car insurance follows the car in Massachusetts. It means that if you lend someone your car and they cause an accident, your policy still covers costs from medical fees and repairs. If the person driving has a policy of their own, it can serve as secondary coverage. But it only takes effect once your limits are exhausted.

You can purchase car insurance without a license, but it may be challenging. Most national insurers won’t permit you to get a policy if you can’t provide a license number.

There are several workarounds for this. One is to add yourself to the exclusion list of your policy. The risk is if you drive and get pulled over, you’ll be considered an uninsured motorist. Another option is to purchase your insurance from a regional provider or an independent agent.

Massachusetts is a no-fault state, which means policyholders can file a claim with their respective insurance companies if they get into an accident, regardless of who was at fault.

There are situations, however, when drivers can step out of this no-fault system. You can file a claim against the driver who caused the accident if:

  • You have incurred at least $2,000 in reasonable medical fees
  • The injuries you sustained from the accident result in permanent, serious disfigurement, bone breakage or severe loss of sight or hearing

Yes, PIP insurance is required. You must purchase $8,000 worth of coverage. In Massachusetts, you cannot increase or decrease the limit of PIP insurance.

Yes, uninsured motorist insurance is part of Massachusetts’ mandatory coverages. At the very least, you should have $20,000 for bodily injury per person and $40,000 for bodily injury per accident.

Massachusetts car insurance laws do not require carriers to pay diminished value claims.

Massachusetts does not require an SR-22 for in-state DUIs. You only request one if you were convicted of a DUI in another state. If you don’t, you run the risk of losing your license and registration. Despite this, your premium still becomes more expensive because your driving record affects your rate, not the SR-22. A driver with a clean record pays $1,112 per year on average. Having a DUI on your record increases the annual premium to roughly $1,986.

In Massachusetts, drivers are required to complete a pre-insurance inspection before buying insurance. This is referred to as a CARCO inspection.

CARCO is the company that does the inspection, collates the data, puts it into a report and furnishes the insurance company with a copy.

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About Mark Fitzpatrick

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Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.