The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles requires all drivers to carry four types of liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility,” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle registration.
The minimum financial responsibility requirements for drivers are as follows:
A minimum of $20,000 per person, for bodily injury or death to others. This means you’ll need to carry a minimum of $40,000 to cover the lowest possible number of people involved in an accident (the two drivers).
A minimum $5,000 for property damage liability, for damage to someone else’s property
A minimum of $20,000 per person, for uninsured or under-insured motorist liability. This means you’ll need to carry a minimum of $40,000 to cover the lowest possible number of people involved in an accident (the two drivers).
A minimum of $8,000 for personal injury protection for injury you experienced yourself
This means that the total minimum amount of financial responsibility you will need is $93,000 to cover bodily injury, property damage, uninsured or under-insured motorists, and personal injury protection liability insurance.
Other types of insurance
While the liability insurance listed above is all that is required in Massachusetts, drivers may also elect to pay for further coverage, including:
Collision coverage, for damages to your own vehicle.
Comprehensive coverage, for damages to your vehicle caused by non-accident events.
Rental reimbursement, to cover the costs of a necessary rental.
Towing and Labor coverage, to cover the costs of necessary repairs.
Massachusetts Safe Driver Insurance Plan
The state of Massachusetts maintains the Massachusetts Safe Driver Insurance Plan program, or SDIP, that rewards drivers with clean driving records for their safe driving habits. This merit-based plan requires that unsafe drivers pay higher premiums, while allowing safe drivers to pay lower premiums.
Massachusetts Auto Insurance Plan
Massachusetts also maintains the Massachusetts Auto Insurance Plan program, or MAIP, which ensures that drivers who are deemed high-risk by auto insurance providers can obtain the necessary legal insurance. Companies who have previously rejected a driver for being unsafe must allow the re-application of a driver through the Massachusetts Auto Insurance Plan.
Proof of insurance
The state of Massachusetts does not require that drivers present proof of financial responsibility in the form of an insurance card. Instead, the vehicle registration document contains the insurance information, and acts as your proof of insurance in the event that a police officer asks to see it at a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident.
In order to register your vehicle, you will need a signed and stamped Insurance Certification (which is part of your application for registration) from your insurance provider.
If you fail to carry the proper insurance in Massachusetts, you may be subject to one of the following penalties:
Fines between $500 and $5,000, or a prison sentence of up to one year
Suspension of driver’s license or vehicle registration
For more information, contact the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles through their website.