There are many factors that impact how much drivers in Massachusetts pay for car insurance. There are also things that drivers sometimes think affect their premiums but don’t actually have any impact. If you own a vehicle in the state, here’s a look at some of the factors that are likely affecting your auto insurance premiums -- and some that probably aren’t.
What Factors Impact How Much Massachusetts Drivers Pay for Car Insurance?
Does: The year, Make and Model of Your Vehicle
The year, make and model of the vehicle you drive affects your car insurance premiums in a couple of ways.
First, vehicles have different safety ratings. Insurers often take into account individual vehicles’ ratings when calculating premiums because these ratings can affect how likely a vehicle is to be in a serious accident.
Second, a vehicle’s year, make and model directly impacts its value. If your auto insurance includes comprehensive and collision coverage, the amount of protection that these coverages provide is usually set to equal your vehicle’s value.
Doesn’t: The Color of Your Car
Some drivers mistakenly think that certain colored cars are assessed higher insurance premiums than others. This generally isn’t true, though. Assuming all other factors are the same, insurers will generally charge the same rates for a red, black, blue, white or any other color car.
Does: Your Driving Habits
Your driving habits have a tremendous impact on how much you pay for auto insurance, and they affect your premiums in multiple ways. When underwriting policies, insurers consider:
Whether you have any moving violations
Whether you’ve been in any accidents
How many miles you drive each year
Most drivers are aware that bad driving records increase rates, because they suggest potentially risky behavior.
Driving habits don’t have to affect your auto insurance premiums in a negative way, though. As technology evolves, insurers are developing devices that can track how far you drive, how quickly you accelerate and how long you take to slow down. If you don’t drive a lot and are a cautious driver, a device may help verify your good driving habits -- and your insurer may offer a discount for your good habits. (Not all insurance companies offer such programs and discounts yet, but these are becoming more common.)
Doesn’t: Your Credit Score
In most states, insurers can (and usually do) consider drivers’ credit scores when determining premiums. Having a low credit score, in some cases, can significantly raise an auto policy’s rates.
Massachusetts has banned this practice, though. By state law, it’s illegal for insurers to take into account drivers’ credit scores when calculating policies’ rates. Therefore, your credit score won’t affect your premiums as long as you live in the state. (Hawaii and California have similar laws.)
Does: The Coverages You Select
Of course, the coverages you select when purchasing auto insurance impact how much you’ll pay for a policy. The more you add on coverages, lower deductibles and increase limits, the more risk the insurer assumes. To compensate for the increased risk, they must charge more.
Although insurers charge more for policies that offer better protection, you should still get a policy that provides the coverages you need. Skimping on a coverage might save you a few dollars, but it can leave you dangerously exposed to potential risks.
Doesn’t: Whether You Smoke
Whether you smoke will likely greatly affect your health and life insurance rates, and smoking in a car will frequently reduce the car’s value. Your smoking habits or lack thereof have no impact on your auto rates, though. Insurance companies usually don’t even ask if you’re a smoker in their auto insurance applications.
Work with an Independent Agent in Massachusetts to Get Affordable Car Insurance
Figuring out how all the factors that impact car insurance rates affect you personally can be challenging. For help determining what factors might be affecting your premiums -- and to find the lowest possible rates that still provide the coverage you need -- contact an independent insurance agent in Massachusetts. They’ll be able to request quotes for different policies and help you understand what’s impacting the prices you’re being quoted.