Vehicles are a necessity for many people, but owning and operating one comes with a certain amount of risk. There are thousands of auto accidents every day, and drivers need to be prepared for the worst. Drivers in Massachusetts should obey all traffic laws and practice safe driving habits. They also should carry robust car insurance coverage.
Car insurance won’t keep people safe during an accident itself. That’s what seat belts, airbags and other safety features are for. A robust auto policy will help protect drivers from the financial fallout of covered accidents that they’re in, though.
Most people and businesses that own vehicles which are driven on Massachusetts’ public roads must have auto insurance. Insurance is generally required by state law, and there are minimum amounts of certain coverages that a policy must provide. The state’s minimum coverage requirements apply to:
While the state has minimum requirements for each of these coverages, many drivers select higher limits than are required because they want additional protection.
In addition to the required coverages, there are many other protections that may be included in auto insurance policies. Some of these other coverages include:
Many insurers also offer roadside assistance as an optional feature in their insurance policies.
Insurance companies offer a few different types of auto policies that meet different vehicle owners’ needs. Some of the more common auto policies:
Hired and non-owned auto policies, which are generally for businesses that use employee or rented vehicles
Comprehensive coverage and collision coverage both offer protection for an insured vehicle itself, paying to make repairs or to replace the vehicle after a covered incident. These two coverages differ in the types of incidents that they protect against, though.
Comprehensive coverage usually protects against damage that’s sustained in covered non-collision incidents. Within the insurance industry, these are normally defined as incidents that don’t involve two or more moving vehicles. For example, comprehensive coverage might extend to hitting a deer, a vehicle break-in or having a tree fall on a vehicle.
Collision coverage is so-named because it typically protects against damage that’s sustained in multi-vehicle collisions. Most accidents that involve at least one other moving vehicle fall under the domain of collision coverage.
Insurers take into account many different factors when setting auto insurance premiums, some of which drivers have control over and others that drivers can’t do much about. Some of the items that insurers might consider include the:
Insurers weigh drivers’ credit scores in many states, but Massachusetts has outlawed this practice. Additionally, insurers don’t typically factor in the color of a vehicle.
When shopping for car insurance, getting the right coverages is at least as important as getting a great rate. For help with both selecting coverages and finding low premiums, drivers should contact an experienced and independent insurance agent. An experienced agent will be able to make helpful coverage recommendations, and an independent agent can compare policies from different Massachusetts insurers.