With an estimated 4.75 million licensed drivers and 6.79 million residents, Massachusetts ranks as the 15th most populous state, according to state DOT and U.S. Census data. Yet residents of this relatively small state have some of the most expensive insurance costs in the United States. Some of this is due to population density, with so many residents living in urban areas. A high cost of living is also a factor, with commensurate prices for auto repairs, medical care, and litigation, which all affect insurance rates. And unfortunately for its residents, Massachusetts has more property damage and liability claims than almost every other state.
Insurance companies take all of this into consideration when setting rates, as part of their complicated formulas that include myriad other factors, from climate and population to driving record, age, and gender to income level and what types of coverages are required by state law.
Our study found that it all adds up to big differences in Massachusetts car insurance costs between the top companies. But we’ve made it easy to find the most affordable car insurance in Massachusetts, no matter your age, driving history, or credit score.
Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Massachusetts
How We Found the Cheapest Car Insurance in Massachusetts
U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies. The rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 17, 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2018 Honda Civic, 2018 Toyota RAV4, 2018 Ford F-150, 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage of 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only. Individual rates will differ.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Massachusetts?
See the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies
Drivers paid an average of $3,072 for car insurance in Massachusetts, but we found a big range of Massachusetts car insurance costs among the companies in our survey, from an average of $1,362 for all drivers with State Farm to $4,339 for those with Liberty Mutual. That $3,000 range demonstrates the importance of shopping around.
Not surprisingly, our study found that 17-year-olds paid the most on average for insurance, but interestingly, their rates were the same regardless of gender. We found rates to be the same for men and women in all our demographic groups, with all companies included in the survey.
We found that 17-year-old drivers not only paid the most for insurance but also had the biggest range in costs between companies, from a low of $2,584 with State Farm to a whopping $8,954 with Liberty Mutual. Seventeen-year-old drivers in Massachusetts paid an average of $6,127 for car insurance, according to our survey.
At the other end of the spectrum, married 60-year-olds paid just $1,946 on average, regardless of gender. That’s almost $4,200 less than the average cost for 17-year-olds.
While younger drivers in Massachusetts would be well-advised to consider State Farm, our study found that State Farm's rates were extremely competitive across all age groups in Massachusetts, with prices substantially less than their competitors regardless of age. State Farm’s rates dropped quickly as drivers age, falling to $954 for a single 25-year-old male or female. That’s also the same rate State Farm charged on average for 35- and 60-year-old married drivers, making State Farm the least expensive company for car insurance across all demographic groups in our survey. It’s just that the savings with State Farm are greatest for younger drivers.
|Company||Single 17-year old female||Single 17-year old male||Single 25-year old female||Single 25-year old male||Married 35-year old female||Married 35-year old male||Married 60-year old female||Married 60-year old male|
|Travelers (as Standard Fire Ins Co)||$5,732.48||$5,732.48||$3,119.09||$3,119.09||$2,813.99||$2,813.99||$2,486.18||$2,486.18|
How much you drive your car can make a big difference in insurance rates and may be an important factor in choosing a provider. Our study found that Massachusetts drivers traveling 12,000 miles per year only paid about $100 more annually than drivers traveling 6,000 miles per year with either Geico or USAA. With State Farm, the difference was just $64 annually. Any of those three are worth considering for drivers with long commutes or who travel frequently. Given the cost of living in urban areas, a long commute is a fact of life for many people in Massachusetts. That said, our study found that those three companies, led by State Farm, had the lowest rates on average for all Massachusetts drivers.
|Company||6000 miles annually (10 mile daily commute)||12,000 miles annually (25 mile daily commute)|
|Travelers (as Standard Fire Ins Co)||$3,369.82||$3,706.05|
Allstate and Liberty Mutual, two of the most expense providers in Massachusetts, also charged the highest premium for additional miles – $236 and $339, respectively. Progressive didn’t charge more for additional miles, but its annual rates ($3,835) were already among the most expensive on average for all drivers, second only to Liberty Mutual.
For Massachusetts drivers, our survey found that it is worth considering springing for higher coverage amounts rather than the minimum. Doing so typically added just $300 to $500 annually, regardless of insurer. With State Farm and USAA, the two most reasonably priced providers in our survey, the difference was even less: about $200. With the high cost of car repairs and healthcare, opting for coverage beyond Massachusetts' modest minimum requirements of $5,000 Property Damage and $8,000 Personal Injury Protection might be worth consideration.
|Travelers (as Standard Fire Ins Co)||$3,195.20||$3,608.81||$3,809.80|
Where you live within a state also affects your rates. Our survey found that in Massachusetts, those residing in the suburbs had the lowest rates overall, while city dwellers generally paid higher rates. Residents of lower-income towns or cities with higher crime rates, however, paid the highest rates on average.
For drivers with less than stellar records, State Farm proved the most forgiving in our survey. One speeding violation raised average rates by only $77, bringing their average annual premium to a still reasonable $1,155. By comparison, Progressive raised their premium by $755 for the same offense, going from $3,221 to $3,976.
State Farm also had the most modest penalties for other offenses, including a DUI, which raised rates to $1,746. That’s close to half of what insurance would cost for those with the same offense with the next closest competitor in our survey. Curiously, Progressive was also the only company in the survey to raise rates less for one DUI offense than for one accident. But their rates for a driver with a DUI were far higher, at $3,602.
|Company||Clean record||With 1 speeding violation||With 1 accident||With 1 DUI|
|Travelers (as Standard Fire Ins Co)||$2,757.80||$3,501.20||$3,813.46||$4,079.29|
Most companies added incremental penalties for offenses, and companies with more affordable rates remained more reasonably priced regardless of offenses. State Farm remained the bargain of the bunch across the board, priced thousands less than Liberty Mutual, which was consistently higher than all competitors. The others fell somewhere in between, with USAA and Geico being the next most reasonably priced.
Massachusetts Auto Insurance Minimum Coverage Requirements
Massachusetts requires drivers to carry four types of insurance, and each has their own minimum. First, you are required to carry coverage for bodily injury to others in the amounts of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. Personal injury protection (PIP) is required to be $8,000 per person and per accident. Massachusetts also requires coverage for bodily injury caused by an uninsured auto in the amounts of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. Finally, coverage for damage to someone else's property is $5,000 per accident, at minimum.
Bodily injury to others is one of two types of liability coverage required in most states. If you're in an accident, it covers the medical expenses of the people in the other car involved in the crash. Those expenses can include medical and hospital costs, rehabilitation, nursing care, and possibly lost income and money for pain and suffering.
Damage to someone else’s property is the second type of liability coverage, and it covers you against damages to someone else’s vehicle, home, outbuilding, fence, or whatever else is involved in an accident.
Personal injury protection (PIP) covers your own medical expenses as a result of an accident, along with those of any passengers injured in your car. It can also provide coverage for you if you’re injured while riding in another car or if you’re struck by a car while walking or on a bicycle.
Bodily Injury Caused by an Uninsured Auto is just what it sounds like: It provides medical coverage for you and any passengers in your car injured in a crash caused by a driver who has no insurance. It can also provide coverage if you are the victim of a hit and run crash with an unidentified driver.
As in many other states, the minimum required coverages in Massachusetts are relatively modest and wouldn’t begin to cover the actual costs involved in most crashes. Going with only the minimum coverage could leave you on the hook for additional amounts and expenses, which is why you should consider purchasing additional coverage. Keep in mind that none of these required coverages will pay the cost of repairing your own vehicle, which is normally covered by a collision or comprehensive policy. Massachusetts doesn't require these policies, but expect your loan company to require them if you finance or lease your car.
In addition, Massachusetts requires your policy to list all licensed drivers living in your house who are related by blood, marriage, or adoption, even if they have their own auto insurance policies. Most insurance companies will let you list these drivers as “deferred operators” at no charge, but some will charge an additional premium. Most will also make an exception for any member of the household who does not drive your car, as long as you submit their information on a written exclusion form.
The state also requires your policy to include drivers not related to you who regularly drive your car, listed as “customary” drivers. Because this term is open to broad interpretation, it is best to list any driver who even occasionally operates your vehicle. Insurance companies may deny coverage if an operator involved in a crash is not listed on your policy. But check the requirements of individual companies you’re considering.
Cheapest Car Insurance in Massachusetts
For drivers looking to spend the absolute least for car insurance in Massachusetts, State Farm is your best bet, across all demographic groups, according to our survey. By opting for only the Massachusetts mandated minimum coverages, drivers paid just $1,238 annually on average. Next best was USAA, at $1,760 a year for the same minimum coverages. Geico came in third at $2,601, and rates with other companies went up from there. Liberty Mutual had the dubious distinction of being most expensive, at $4,059 for minimum coverage.
It’s worth noting that with both State Farm and USAA, making the jump from minimal coverage to high only added about $200 to the annual cost. Given the high cost of auto repair and health care, that could easily be money well-spent.
Our survey found that residents of the Boston suburb Waltham paid the least overall for car insurance in Massachusetts, at $3,199 on average. Suburban communities including Newton, Haverhill, and Brookline were not far behind, at $3,225, $3,250, and $3,321, respectively. Not surprisingly, city dwellers in Boston and Worcester paid higher rates: $3,610 and $3,902, respectively. But the survey found the highest rates overall were in lower income communities with grittier reputations, including Brockton and Lynn. Those cities had the highest reported rates in the state on average, at $4,786 and $4,407, respectively.
Why Car Insurance Rates Vary in Massachusetts
Many factors affect what you pay for car insurance, including your age, driving record, how much you drive, and the age and type of car you own. Where you live can also have a dramatic effect on rates. Urban drivers generally pay more for car insurance than those living in suburban or rural areas because of road congestion, the number of other vehicles around you, crime, and the greater odds of making a claim based on these factors and more.
Our study found that suburban areas generally had lower rates than cities, but rates varied from one city to the next with no direct correlation to size. Boston is the largest city in Massachusetts with about 685,000 residents, but our study found 10 other Massachusetts cities had higher rates on average.
Brockton, a much smaller city of less than 100,000 residents and about 25 miles from Boston, had the highest rates in the state on average: $4,786 annually, or about $1,100 more than Boston. Residents of Lynn, another city close to Boston, paid $4,407 on average. The reason is likely to have more to do with crime rates than population density. Brockton and Lynn have some of the highest crime rates among cities in the state according to FBI data, as do most of the cities in our study with higher rates.
How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance in Massachusetts
There are almost always ways to save money on car insurance. Most insurance companies offer discounts for bundling your car insurance with another policy, like homeowners or renters insurance. A clean driving record will help, as will a good credit score, and some companies offer discounts for completing a defensive driving course. Good students will often be entitled to a discount. Some companies, including USAA, also offer discounts for cars left in storage while the owner is deployed in military service.
Opting for a higher deductible – the money you pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in – will typically lower your annual collision or comprehensive premiums. According to the Insurance Information Institute, raising your deductible from $200 to $500 could reduce collision and comprehensive coverage costs by 15 to 30 percent. Opting for a $1,000 deductible can save 40 percent or more. A higher deductible means you'll have to pay more out of pocket, so it's important to balance that risk with potential savings. You'll need to keep more cash on hand for repairs in the event of an accident or damage to your car.
Regardless of what discounts you may be eligible for, remember that it always makes sense to check with your insurer annually to see if you’re entitled to a reduction in rates, and consider updating your coverage if circumstances have changed. Driving offenses are cleared from your record over time, and your credit score may improve. Don’t rely on your insurer to automatically lower your rates as things change. Also keep in mind that you may want to lower or drop some coverage entirely as your car ages. You might even want to consider canceling coverage for repairs if depreciation over time has made your vehicle worth less than repairs are likely to cost. Auto bodywork doesn’t come cheap.
Important Laws Around Auto Insurance in Massachusetts
Massachusetts deregulated car insurance in 2008, going from a system where the state dictated rates to one where insurance companies set their own. As a result, it is more important than ever to shop around and compare quotes.
Because Massachusetts is a no-fault state, drivers must file any property or injury claims with their own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault in an accident. Drivers must also include family members who are licensed drivers living under the same roof – along with anyone else who drives their car on a regular basis – on their policy.
Drivers are required to show proof of insurance to register a vehicle in Massachusetts and be issued license plates. Penalties for driving without insurance in Massachusetts include a fine of between $500 and $5,000 and up to a year in jail.
Massachusetts Driving Laws and Punishments
Massachusetts crash fatalities increased by 12.8 percent in 2016, more than double the national average. Authorities attribute much of that increase to distracted driving. As a result, the state has promised to strictly enforce its Safe Driving Law, which bans texting while driving. The law carries penalties of $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second, and $500 for each subsequent offense. There is no mandatory insurance surcharge attached to the regulation, but negligent operation resulting in bodily injury makes it a criminal offense with a bump in insurance rates.
Massachusetts also has very strict laws against drunk driving, with penalties for any driver whose blood alcohol content exceeds 0.08 percent. The first offense carries a fine of $500 to $5,000, along with a one-year license suspension and a possible prison term of up to 2 1/2 years. The second offense results in a fine of $600 to $10,000, along with a two-year license suspension and a prison term of between 30 days and two years. The third offense is considered a felony, with fines from $1,000 to $15,000, along with an eight-year license suspension and a minimum jail term of 150 days. The maximum sentence is five years. For the fourth offense, which is also a felony, you can face fines from $1,500 to $25,000, a 10-year license suspension, and a prison sentence of one to five years. The fifth offense is also a felony charge, and it carries a fine of $2,000 to $5,000, a lifetime license suspension, and two to five years in prison.
Massachusetts Car Insurance FAQs
Is car insurance required in Massachusetts?
Yes, four types of basic insurance are required, including bodily injury to others, personal injury protection (PIP), bodily injury caused by an uninsured auto, and damage to someone else’s property.
Which cars are required to be insured in Massachusetts?
All registered vehicles in Massachusetts are required to have insurance.
When should I get car insurance in Massachusetts?
Drivers are required to have car insurance to register a vehicle in Massachusetts. Be prepared to show proof of insurance before going to the vehicle registry.
What happens if my car is not properly insured in Massachusetts?
Serious penalties await those who operate a vehicle without proper insurance in Massachusetts and include a fine of up to $5,000, loss of driving privileges for a year, and up to one year in jail.
Is Massachusetts a no-fault state?
Yes, Massachusetts is a no-fault state. That means you must file a claim with your car insurance company after any collision, even if you did not cause it.
Do I need uninsured motorist coverage in Massachusetts?
Yes, to cover injuries with minimum coverage of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per crash.
Is liability insurance required in Massachusetts?
Two types of liability coverage are required: Bodily Injury to Others, with a minimum of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per crash, and Damage to Someone Else’s Property, with a minimum $5,000 in coverage.
Does Massachusetts accept digital insurance cards?
No. Massachusetts doesn’t issue any insurance cards. However, you must provide proof of insurance to register a car. You can get the proper documentation from your car insurance company.