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Massachusetts Car Insurance Laws

Massachusetts sits right in the pack of 49 other states with regards to enacting minimum car insurance coverage requirements on drivers. As a result, anybody operating a vehicle on the state’s public roads is required to have a car insurance policy in place before doing so. Like other states, the purpose of these laws is to make sure there’s some sort of recourse for parties injured by the negligence or actions of a driver, whether it be medical injury or property damage or both.

One of the easiest ways to find out Massachusetts’ requirements is to find them on a car insurance comparison site by using a ZIP code search. Enter your ZIP code into our FREE auto insurance comparison tool to find minimum requirements for your area and great rates now! That said, the minimum insurance requirements for the state are specified below.


Massachusetts’ requirements are broken into coverage categories defined by dollar amounts. These values represent the minimum amounts a valid driver’s insurance policy must meet to be legal while driving. These requires are:

  • Coverage for bodily injury to others―a minimum $20,000 per person injured and $40,000 per accident.
  • Coverage for personal injury protection―a minimum of $8,000 per driver, passengers in the vehicle, injured pedestrians.
  • Coverage for bodily injury caused by an uninsured car driver―a minimum $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.
  • Coverage for property damage by a driver―a minimum of $5,000 per incident

What is notable is what is not required by Massachusetts. Drivers do not have to maintain any car insurance coverage for collision liability, medical payments coverage, or comprehensive policies.

A driver can always contract to include these benefits in his insurance policy, which are above and beyond the state’s requirements, however.

car insurance laws massachusettsProof of Insurance

Once a policy is approved, an insurance provider will make available copies of proof of insurance which can then be displayed upon request to traffic officers, DMV, and law enforcement officers.

This documentation will show the dates of valid coverage, the specific car that is covered with its license plate number or vehicle identification number, and the liability caps on the existing policy. In short, an officer can look at the proof and know within a few seconds whether a driver has valid coverage or not.


A lack of insurance when caught will automatically trigger penalties. These can include traffic citations, fines, and even criminal penalties if a driver is a repeat offender. Violations will also likely trigger car insurance premium cost increases as insurance companies gain access to DMV records and see the marks on a driver’s record.

Where a driver represents a significant risk of traffic problems, insurers will make it more expensive to maintain coverage.

A first time violation of a driver without insurance can cost at least $500 or more. In some cases a court can levy as much as $5,000, depending on the case details. The amount varies because of the way the law is written. Massachusetts either requires a minimum of $500 or a year’s worth of premiums for whatever car insurance would have been in the highest rated region of the state on the date of the violation. Additionally, a driver could face a year in jail as well.

massachusetts car insurance lawsAdministrative state penalties can kick in as well. The state DMV can automatically suspend a driver’s license up to two months or 60 days. To make sure the penalty sticks, the DMV can also invalidate the driver’s vehicle as well. This would be done by invalidating the car’s tags and registration on file.

Drivers should also remember most local jurisdictions add on fines and processing charges as well, depending where a violation occurs. So a traffic ticket for insurance with a base fine of $500 could end up cost anywhere from $50 to $200 more when finally charged by a city or county.

Buying Car Insurance

Because the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is such a small territory, it’s quite easy to drive through the state in transit from adjacent states. However, states vary when it comes to insurance coverage, so drivers need to make sure when in Massachusetts whatever policy they have is enough for that state’s laws.

Just having a policy valid in Vermont or New York, for example, is not enough. A good way to check what the minimum insurance coverage requirements are by state is to use our FREE car insurance comparison tool which can search by ZIP code.

The results can then be compared to make sure whatever state a person is traveling through, including Massachusetts, that his insurance coverage is sufficient in case he gets pulled over. A little bit of research can go a long way to avoid an embarrassing situation and an expensive ticket. Enter your ZIP code into

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