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Boston Car Insurance: A Guide to Finding the Cheapest Rates

Find Cheap Car Insurance in Boston
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If you live in Boston and need car insurance, striking a good balance between cost and coverage may not be as hard as you think. Take a look at Benzinga’s guide to car insurance in Boston, Massachusetts.

Quick Look: Best Cheap Car Insurance in Boston

In 2017, 93.8% of drivers involved in a serious accident in Massachusetts had at least the minimum required car insurance. This high coverage reflects perhaps the fact that Massachusetts was the first state to introduce compulsory auto liability insurance in 1927.

Fast forward 90 years, and Massachusetts residents paid an average of $1,462 in auto liability insurance in 2016, just slightly above the national average of $1,009.

However, while finding a good insurance policy in Massachusetts, you may have to sift through quite a few options. To make things easier for you, we’ve put together this guide to help you find the right Boston car insurance for you.

Boston Car Insurance Overview

  • Number of vehicles: The average household in Boston has 1 vehicle (2016)
  • Minimum state insurance requirements: $20,000 per person and Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) $40,000 per accident, $5,000 Property Damage Liability (PDL), $8,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • Average rate with a clean driving record – $1,350 state minimum, $1,245 liability only (50/100/50, BIL and PDL), $1,791 full coverage (100/300/100)

What You Need to Know Before You Get Coverage in Boston

Insurance Minimums Explained

As decreed by law in Massachusetts, your policy is required to have 4 types of insurance as outlined below.

  • Bodily Injury Liability: $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. This is how much the insurance company is liable to the other party if you are at fault.
  • Property Damage Liability: $5,000. The other party may come after you if you cause more than the $5,000 minimum in damage.
  • Personal Injury Protection: 8,000 per accident. This is no-fault insurance that typically covers those in your vehicle including the driver.
  • Bodily Injury Uninsured Motorist: $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident

To register and legally drive a vehicle, you need to have the above. The policy may have to include all licensed drivers in your home and those who might occasionally use your car. This would apply even if they have their own insurance policies.

Driving Laws You Should Know

Teen driving. 18-year-olds can get an unrestricted driver’s license in MA. To become eligible, they need to have a junior operator license for at least a year prior to their 18th birthday. The requirements for a junior license are driver education course and 16½ years of age.

Maximum speed. The maximum speed limit in Massachusetts is 65 mph. Naturally, this state limit would not apply to interstate highways and other federal properties.

Drinking and driving. Like most states, the legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit is 0.08%. If you happen to blow 0.20% or more it might trigger automatic penalty enhancements. If you refuse the breathalyzer test you will get arrested and have to plead your case in court.

Texting and driving. Texting and driving is prohibited in Massachusetts. You may use a hands-free device while talking or sending messages. A first-time offense will land you a $100 ticket, 2nd offense $250, and a 3rd a hefty $500 ticket.

What You Can Expect to Pay Per Month in Boston

Rates Per Vehicle

The most popular vehicle in Boston is a 2016 Honda Accord, we based our averages on this vehicle model. Needless to say, insurance rates will vary from vehicle to vehicle and driver to driver. The only true way to get a proper car insurance quote is to enter your exact information and driving habits.

This is all based on statistic compiled by insurance companies. This would cover more than vehicle features to include driver personality as well. For example, if the stats show that the Cadillac CTS produces more accidents and claims than the Honda Civic, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that the Cadillac CTS is less safe as a vehicle. It could be because the personality of drivers who prefer the CTS is more likely to result in more claims.

The good thing is that car insurance companies don’t have to judge any of that. They just rely on the stats to set their rates.

But we can still infer a few things from the rates in general. For one, the insurance rate might be lower for newer 4-door sedans with up-to-date safety/anti-theft devices. Luxury imports are usually more expensive to insure, due to more expensive parts and labor costs.

According to the Boston Globe, Boston residents prefer Japanese cars as a whole. The perennial most popular cars in America, the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry, happen to be the most popular cars in Boston as well. This is followed by the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Toyota RAV4, and Honda CRV.

If you have your eye on an electric vehicle, you may qualify for up to $1,500 in rebates for the lease or purchase of a fuel cell or battery-powered car. In addition, zero-emission motorcycles receive a $450 incentive. This won’t cover the higher costs of these vehicles, but it might help.

Rates by Credit Score

Just like Hawaii and California, Massachusetts forbids the use of your credit score to determine your insurance premium. This is in contrast to most other states.

Rates for Drivers with a Clean Record

Your driving record affects your insurance rates, but there are many ways to save money on auto insurance if you are proactive with your insurer.

To mitigate risk, the companies would penalize drivers who are involved in at-fault accidents and traffic offenses. At the other end of the spectrum, auto insurance providers might offer safe driver discounts and bonuses to those with a clean record.

Many insurance providers also go the extra mile to promote defensive driving and clean records. Some offer apps that track your driving habits, which you’ll have to download to your phone and turn it on when you’re driving. If you have a blemished record, you might be able to take and pass an approved defensive driving class and have your rate lowered.

The following rates apply to those with a clean driving record in Boston.

Insurance AgencyState Minimum InsuranceStandard CoverageFull Coverage
Allstate$3,400$3,734$3,894
GEICO$2,601$2,874$2,994
Progressive$3,515$3,907$4,083
State Farm$1,239$1,386$1,461
Travelers$3,195$3,609$3,810

Rates for Those with Driving Infractions

By now, you already know that traffic violations drive up insurance rates. Those include speeding, risky lane changes, DUI, and more.

Minor traffic violations include running a red light, tailgating, minor speeding, and improper passing. These are various types of moving violations, but you might be able to hire a lawyer and go to court to get it reduced to a non-moving violation. If not, you might pick up 2 points on your license for each offense.

Reckless driving, DUI, hit-and-run, and driving with a suspended license are some of the major traffic violations. With these, you are looking at 5 points on your license and a hefty fine in addition to license suspension. Driving without automotive insurance is also be considered a major violation.

While certain infractions don’t affect the rates by much, those with a DUI or at-fault accident to their record can expect to pay much more, as illustrated below.

Insurance Agency At Fault Accident Speed Violation DUI
Allstate$4,241$2,845$4,772
GEICO$3,106$2,383$3,546
Progressive$4,541$3,976$3,602
State Farm $1,468$1,155$1,746
Travelers$3,813$3,501$4,079

Best Auto Insurance Providers in Boston

It’d behoove Boston drivers to concentrate on State Farm, GEICO, Progressive and Travelers. Let’s break them down further:

Best Overall: GEICO

GEICO offers attractive rates, but were you also aware of its exceptionally high customer satisfaction? A 2018 Alan Newman Research study showed that 97% of GEICO customers are happy with their auto insurance provider.

It helps that GEICO offers 24/7 all-year-round customer support. You can also manage policy with the GEICO app.

The rates at GEICO are hard to beat, or at least in Boston. And you may save even more money if you have multiple policies with the company. Besides covering multiple cars, you can bundle auto and other insurance such as home and boat.

Cheapest Car Insurance in Boston, MA: State Farm

State Farm offers the most affordable rates overall in Boston. Quite surprisingly, the average insurance cost is below $2,000 even for drivers with a DUI. In addition, State Farm beats the competition by a landslide in affordable quotes for those with a clean driving record.

In addition, State Farm offers a bunch of discounts. For example, you may qualify for defensive driving, good student, and loyal customer discounts. The last one is for if you’ve used State Farm for 3 years without getting into any at-fault accidents during that time.

Cheapest Full Coverage Car Insurance: State Farm

Looking for the most affordable full coverage? Again, State Farm is your best bet. At an average rate of $1,461, you’ll be paying less than the competition. So, what does State Farm full coverage include?

A full coverage policy covers the state minimum plus collision. You have the option to add non-collision insurance and such.

Choosing Insurance in Boston

The above-mentioned insurance companies offer the best quotes in Boston. It all comes down to your individual needs and budget. If you are new to all those, it’d make sense to learn more about car insurance in general.

Compare Car Insurance Rates in Boston
Pro tip: Try 2-3 different companies to find the best rate

Looking to learn more about insurance? Check out Benzinga’s guides to the best affordable car insurance companies in the US, the best life insurance companies and the best temporary car insurance companies.