Car insurance is one expense of car ownership that’s unavoidable. However, you can take the time to research and find the best value for your money for car insurance. Car insurance premiums consider several factors, but you may find a different quoted premium with each company you search. Here’s how to find cheap car insurance in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
What Types of Car Insurance Coverage Are Available?
There are four main types of car insurance coverage, and many states mandate a minimum coverage, including Massachusetts. Let’s look at the four main categories to understand which coverage you require.
Most states require drivers to have a minimum amount of liability coverage, including Massachusetts. Liability coverage can be divided into bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury coverage pays for medical bills caused by bodily damage to others. Property damage covers repairs or replacements of someone else’s personal property, including their vehicle.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
These coverages take effect when you’re involved in an accident with another driver who either lacks insurance or doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover the damages. Many companies bundle these together; however, Massachusetts only requires uninsured motorist coverage, so you can opt for only that coverage if desired.
If you hit another object, such as a light pole or another person’s vehicle, collision coverage will cover the repairs and replacement of your vehicle. Collision is an optional coverage unless you owe money on a loan or lease for your vehicle, in which case the lending institution may require you to carry collision for investment protection. You will also have a deductible with collision insurance or a set amount you agree to pay out of pocket before insurance starts to cover any damages.
This insurance coverage pays for damages to your vehicle caused by theft, vandalism, or acts of nature such as hail. Comprehensive coverage is also optional in most cases unless you have a lien or lease on your vehicle and includes a deductible.
Other types of insurance include Gap or loan/lease payoff, medical payments, rental car reimbursement, roadside assistance, and personal injury protection. PIP covers medical costs for your passengers and you if you’re involved in an accident.
What Is the Minimum Car Insurance Required in Massachusetts?
Each state has a minimum car insurance requirement for you to legally drive your vehicle on the roads, and Massachusetts is no exception. The minimum insurance requirement in Massachusetts includes:
- PIP: $8,000 per person
- Uninsured motorist: $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident
- Bodily injury liability: $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident
- Property damage liability: $5,000 per accident
Massachusetts is a no-fault state, so every driver must carry car insurance for their own protection. No matter who’s at fault in an accident, the driver’s insurance policy pays out for all medical bills and property damage.
If you’re caught driving without insurance in Massachusetts, the penalties include:
- Fine of $500 to $5,000
- The requirement to pay the highest market rate for one full year of insurance premiums
- Up to one year in jail
- Possible 60-day suspension of your driver’s license
How Are Car Insurance Premiums Calculated?
Several factors go into the calculations for car insurance premiums. These include your age, driving history, past accidents and traffic violations, credit score, location, and vehicle type. While most of these are factors that you have little to no control over, there are several ways you can help lower your annual car insurance premiums, such as:
- Carry only the insurance you need. If you have a vehicle without a loan or lease, you can save money by only carrying the minimum amount of car insurance required by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles.
- Opt for a higher deductible. A higher deductible should lower your annual car insurance rates.
- Look for discounts. Many car insurance companies offer discounts for good drivers, good students, certain safety features, multiple policies, and multiple vehicles to help save you money.
- Complete a driving course. Completing a defensive driving or driver’s education course can help lower your premiums.
- Be a safe driver. Avoiding accidents and traffic violations will keep your insurance premiums lower.
- Improve your credit score. Adding a few points to your credit score by paying down debt or making your payments on time is another way to save money on car insurance premiums.
Where Can You Find Cheap Car Insurance in Cambridge, MA?
Massachusetts drivers can expect to pay around $1,294 per year for car insurance coverage, as reported by U.S. News & World Report. This average premium is slightly lower than the national average of $1,321. Companies that offer the best deals on the minimum coverage for car insurance in Cambridge, MA, include:
- State Farm: $548
- GEICO: $871
- USAA: $895
- Safety Insurance: $935
- Arbella Mutual Insurance: $1,196
- Plymouth Rock Assurance: $1,213
- Metropolitan P&C: $1,302
- Allstate: $1,423
- Progressive: $1,554
- Travelers: $1,774
The annual premiums for the same driver, same vehicle, and same coverage can vary considerably amongst insurance companies, so it’s important to gather several quotes before deciding to go with one for your insurance coverage. The difference between State Farm and Travelers for minimum car insurance in Massachusetts is over $1,200, which is quite significant. If you’re looking for high-coverage car insurance, including coverage such as comprehensive and collision, the best companies include:
- State Farm: $673
- USAA: $1,021
- GEICO: $1,035
- Safety Insurance: $1,073
- Plymouth Rock Assurance: $1,372
- Metropolitan P&C: $1,409
- Arbella Mutual Insurance: $1,410
- Allstate: $1,665
- Progressive: $1,755
- Travelers: $2,093
Again, the difference between the lowest and highest rates is around $1,400, so the company you go with can significantly affect the amount you pay. The difference between minimal and high coverage is also not as high as most drivers think it will be, so you may want to consider adding more coverage to your car insurance policy to protect you and your investment. You want to ensure that you have enough coverage to cover any medical bills or damages should you be in an unfortunate accident.
Cars can be expensive, between regular maintenance needs and car insurance premiums. Cheap car insurance can help you keep your expenses down. Take the time to shop around and get several quotes to compare before committing to a cheap car insurance company in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.