What is Car Insurance?

Driving comes with an inherent amount of risk, for an accident can occur at almost any time. Thousands of accidents occur on a daily basis, and even the most careful of drivers is statistically likely to be in at least one (if not several) accidents over the course of their lifetime. Car insurance won’t help prevent an accident while on the road, but it can help Massachusetts drivers recover from the financial consequences that follow.

Being in an accident can be expensive. If a driver is found to cause the accident, they may be held financially liable for other people’s injuries and property damage. Additionally, drivers may have their own injuries to recover from and vehicle to repair. Because accidents cost a lot to recover from, most drivers should have a robust car insurance policy.

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Who in Massachusetts Needs an Auto Insurance?

Most drivers in Massachusetts are legally required to carry auto insurance. State law stipulates that all drivers who are on public roads must have:

  • Bodily Injury to Others Coverage, which usually covers incidents sustained by people other than a driver and their passengers
  • Personal Injury Protection, which usually covers injuries sustained by a driver and their passengers
  • Property Damage Coverage, which usually covers damage sustained by other people’s property
  • Bodily Injury Caused by Uninsured Coverage, which usually covers injuries sustained by a driver and their passengers that are caused by an unidentified or uninsured driver

Not carrying these coverages exposes a driver to potential legal consequences and leaves them without protection if they’re in an accident. 

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What Other Coverages Do Auto Policies Offer?

While these compulsory coverages are a good start, many drivers want more protection than these coverages alone afford. For this reason, insurers often make a number of optional coverages available. Some of the optional coverages an insurer might offer include:

  • Comprehensive Coverage, which often covers damage sustained by a vehicle in certain incidents that don’t involve other vehicles (e.g. fires, thefts, etc.)
  • Collision Coverage, which often covers damage sustained by a vehicle in multi-vehicle accidents
  • Coverage for Substitute Transportation, which often covers the cost of a rental vehicle if an insured vehicle is damaged in a covered incident
  • Coverage for Towing and Labor, which often covers the cost of towing a broken-down vehicle to a repair shop
  • Auto Loan/Lease Coverage, which often covers vehicles that are leased or rented
  • Pet Coverage, which often covers injuries pets sustain while in a vehicle

Many insurers also offer options such as accident forgiveness and roadside assistance.

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How Can Drivers Get More Affordable Auto Insurance Rates?

Auto insurance premiums are based on many factors. Some of these, such as a driver’s age, and gender and marital status, are outside of drivers’ control (or, at least not worth changing solely to save on auto insurance). There are other factors, however, that drivers can take advantage of to lower their premiums.

Drivers may qualify for lower auto rates if they:

  • Park their vehicle in a more secure location (e.g. a garage)
  • Complete an approved driver safety course
  • Have tickets for moving violations removed from their driving record
  • Purchase multiple insurance policies from the same insurer
  • Reduce how many miles they drive annually

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How Can Drivers in Massachusetts Get Quotes for Car Insurance Policies?

One of the best ways to find car insurance that’s both affordable and robust is to compare quotes for different policies. Drivers who would like to see what coverages different policies offer and what the policies’ premiums are should get in touch with an independent insurance agent who’s licensed in Massachusetts. An independent agent can request quotes from several insurers and help drivers compare the quotes with each other.

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