Auto Insurance for High-Risk Drivers in Massachusetts

The Zebra
May 9, 2019

If you have caused a car crash, filed an insurance claim, or been handed a citation for a major violation, you could be a candidate for high-risk car insurance. Auto insurance for a driver with a poor driving record is almost always expensive, but the level of rate increase you face varies based on your company, your driving record, and the area in which you live.

What goes into car insurance prices for bad drivers in Massachusetts:
  1. At-fault accidents
  2. Speeding
  3. Distracted driving
  4. Racing
  5. Reckless driving
  6. Massachusetts driving laws

 

What impact does an at-fault collision have on auto insurance in Massachusetts?

If you're deemed at-fault for an auto accident, expect your auto insurance rates to skyrocket. In Massachusetts, the average insurance rate following an at-fault crash is $2,044, compared to the U.S. average of $2,012. A serious accident such as an at-fault collision can stay on your insurance record for as long as three years.

MASSACHUSETTS AUTO INSURANCE PREMIUMS FOLLOWING AN AT-FAULT COLLISION
LocationWith At-Fault Accident — Annual RateNo At-Fault Accident — Annual RateYearly Rate Increase
Massachusetts$2,044$1,201$843
U.S. Average$2,012$1,397$615

The most affordable insurer after an at-fault accident in Massachusetts is GEICO. GEICO’s usual price increase after an incident is $702, resulting in a total rate 34 percent less expensive than the average among all insurers. If you’ve caused a crash in Massachusetts, avoid Progressive and Amica, which penalize at-fault drivers more severely.

AUTO INSURANCE RATES AFTER AN AT-FAULT ACCIDENT IN MASSACHUSETTS — AFFORDABLE PROVIDERS
Insurance CompanyAnnual Premium After an At-Fault Collision
GEICO$1,342
Plymouth Rock$1,357
Arbella$1,493
Progressive$1,773
Amica$1,859

 

By how much does a speeding ticket raise car insurance rates in Massachusetts?

One of the ways in which drivers earn the "risky" designation is speeding. In Massachusetts, you can expect to see your rates rise by $302 per year after a speeding citation, to an average yearly rate of $1,504.

MASSACHUSETTS AUTO INSURANCE PRICES AFTER A SPEEDING TICKET
LocationWith a Speeding Ticket — Annual RateNo Speeding Ticket — Annual RateYearly Rate Increase
Massachusetts$1,504$1,201$302
National Average$1,727$1,397$330

The best way to find affordable car insurance after a speeding ticket is to shop around and weigh your options. The most affordable auto insurance after a speeding citation in Massachusetts is available through Erie. Erie’s average rate after a citation is $514 less than the state average. If you've been caught speeding in Massachusetts, Allstate probably won't be the cheapest option.

AUTO INSURANCE RATES AFTER SPEEDING IN MASSACHUSETTS — AFFORDABLE CARRIERS
Insurance CompanyAnnual Rate After a Speeding Citation
Erie$990
GEICO$1,023
State Farm$1,426
Nationwide$2,026
Allstate$2,073

 

How does a ticket for distracted driving impact car insurance prices in Massachusetts?

If you are issued a distracted driving citation, one side effect will be increased car insurance rates. In Massachusetts, car insurance costs typically increase by $150 per year. That amounts to a 13% increase from the average annual rate in Massachusetts and 13% more than the national average cost of auto insurance after a ticket for distracted driving.

MASSACHUSETTS CAR INSURANCE PRICES WITH A DISTRACTED DRIVING CITATION
LocationWith Distracted Driving — Annual RateNo Distracted Driving — Annual RateAnnual Rate Increase
Massachusetts$1,351$1,201$150
National Average$1,570$1,397$173

The best way to find affordable car insurance after a distracted driving citation is to compare carriers. The most affordable car insurance company after a ticket for distracted driving in Massachusetts is GEICO, with a typical rate of just $948 per year, 30% lower than the average distracted driving insurance rate from all insurers.

CAR INSURANCE PREMIUMS AFTER DISTRACTED DRIVING IN MASSACHUSETTS — AFFORDABLE CARRIERS
Insurance CompanyAnnual Rate With Distracted Driving
GEICO$948
Commerce$1,045
Plymouth Rock$1,177
Arbella$1,239
Amica$1,274

 

How does a citation for racing impact Massachusetts car insurance rates?

Racing is treated as a very serious violation. Insurers commonly penalize racing convictions severely — in fact, Massachusetts auto insurance prices go up by $1,078 per year after a ticket for racing. That is a 90% increase on the average yearly car insurance premium in Massachusetts!

LocationWith a Racing Citation — Annual RateNo Racing Citation — Annual RateYearly Rate Increase
Massachusetts$2,279$1,201$1,078
National Average$2,397$1,397$1,000

If you have been cited for racing, do your due diligence and find the cheapest rates. In Massachusetts, grab a quote from GEICO, with rates 55 percent cheaper than the state average for drivers found guilty of racing.

CAR INSURANCE RATES FOLLOWING A RACING CITATION IN MASSACHUSETTS — CHEAP COMPANIES
Insurance CompanyAnnual Rate With Racing
GEICO$1,018
Allstate$1,500
Progressive$1,700
Arbella$2,109
Commerce$2,136

 

Does a citation for reckless driving in Massachusetts raise car insurance rates?

One of the most serious driving violations, reckless driving is a certain way to pay more for auto insurance. Auto insurance companies increase prices by an average of $1,192 annually after reckless driving. That comes out to 99% more than the typical insurance rate in Massachusetts, and 39% less than the U.S. average penalty for a reckless driving ticket.

MASSACHUSETTS CAR INSURANCE RATES WITH A RECKLESS DRIVING CITATION
LocationWith Reckless Driving — Annual RateNo Reckless Driving — Annual RateYearly Rate Increase
Massachusetts$2,393$1,201$1,192
National Average$2,395$1,397$998

If you've committed a reckless driving offense, shop around to find the cheapest rate. In Massachusetts, the best carrier after reckless driving is GEICO.

CAR INSURANCE PRICES AFTER RECKLESS DRIVING IN MASSACHUSETTS — CHEAP PROVIDERS
InsurerAnnual Rate With Reckless Driving
GEICO$1,429
Allstate$1,500
Progressive$1,700
Plymouth Rock$1,796
Arbella$2,109

If you're looking for auto insurance as a high-risk driver, the best option is to shop around and compare policies from trusted insurers.

 

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Massachusetts Driving Laws

Driving laws in Massachusetts are put in place to keep road travel as safe and as efficient as possible. If you want to stay on the correct side of the law while driving in Massachusetts, have a look at some of these basic driving laws.

 

Speeding in Massachusetts

When Are You Speeding in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts speeding laws are imposed to keep speeds reasonable and roads safe. Still, it’s easy to accidentally find yourself creeping over the speed limit from time to time. If you are uncertain of the speed limit in the area in which you are driving, keep these general guidelines in mind:

  • 65 mph on certain sections of interstate highways
  • 55 mph on any other way
  • 50 mph on divided highways outside densely populated business districts
  • 40 mph on any other highway outside a thickly populated business district
  • 25 mph inside densely populated business districts
  • 20 mph in school zones or within a senior safety center zone

Penalties for Speeding in Massachusetts

If you're caught violating Massachusetts speeding laws, you can expect the following penalties:

  • A fine of at least $50
  • For a second offense exceeding the 65 mph speed limit: an extra $35
  • For subsequent offenses exceeding 65 mph speed limit: an extra $75

If found going ten miles over the speed limit, an extra $10 will be added to the fine for every mile per hour over. Fines also double in construction zones.

 

Reckless Driving in Massachusetts

What is Reckless Driving in Massachusetts?

Reckless driving is typically a broad category. Lots of different poor driving behaviors could fall under this realm. The state defines reckless driving as operating a vehicle “negligently so that the lives or safety of the public might be endangered.”

Penalties for Reckless Driving in Massachusetts

If you are caught driving recklessly in Massachusetts, you can expect the following penalties:

  • A fine from $20 to $200
  • Imprisonment between two weeks and two years
  • License suspension

 

Distracted Driving in Massachusetts

What is Distracted Driving in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts distracted drivers are a real threat to road safety. Distractions can come in many forms while driving, from taking a sip of coffee to talking to a fellow passenger. While many of these distracting behaviors would be hard to prohibit entirely, there is one area where Massachusetts has established firm laws.

Distracted driving laws in Massachusetts are clear in prohibiting the “sending, typing or reading electronic messages to or from handheld devices.” Also, if you are what Massachusetts terms as a “junior operator” (a driver between the age of 161/2 and 18), you are further prohibited from using any handheld device while driving.

Penalties for Distracted Driving in Massachusetts

If you are found guilty of breaking Massachusetts’s distracted driving laws, the following penalties will apply:

  • First offense: $100 fine
  • Second offense: $250 fine
  • Third offense: $500 fine

 

Drag Racing in Massachusetts

What is Drag Racing in Massachusetts?

You are guilty of drag racing in Massachusetts if you attempt to operate at “a high rate of speed in competition with another operator.” It is considered a misdemeanor and carries some steep penalties.

Penalties for Drag Racing in Massachusetts

If you are caught drag racing in Massachusetts you can expect the following penalties to apply:

  • 30-day license suspension for a first offense, 180-day for a second
  • A fine of up to $1,000
  • Imprisonment for up to 2.5 years

If you are a junior operator or hold a learner’s permit, you can expect those penalties to increase:

  • Minimum fine of $250
  • License (or permit) suspended for one year

 

At-fault Accidents in Massachusetts

What is an At-fault Accident in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts is one of about a dozen states that is “no-fault,” meaning that you must file a claim with your insurance even if you are not at fault. While this is the case a majority of accidents, it is still important to determine fault in serious crashes.

Drivers are allowed to step outside of the no-fault system and pursue the at-fault driver’s insurance company if they have:

  • Incurred over $2,000 in medical expenses
  • Incurred injuries from the crash that result in serious or permanent disfigurement

The state of Massachusetts requires any motorist on their roads to carry basic minimum liability insurance. All drivers must have at least the following coverage:

  • $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident for bodily injury to others
  • $8,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) per person, per accident
  • $20,000 per person/$40,000 per accidents caused by uninsured drivers
  • $5,000 in cover damage to someone else’s property

Penalties for At-fault Accidents in Massachusetts

The penalties for driving without insurance in Massachusetts can be quite stiff. You can face a $500 fine and even be required to pay the equivalent of one year of premiums for mandatory insurance. What’s more, if you are found at-fault in an accident without insurance, you are personally liable for any resulting damages, which can make paying for car insurance seem downright cheap by comparison.

 

DUI Laws in Massachusetts

What is a DUI in Massachusetts?

The state of Massachusetts takes DUI offenses quite seriously. Having a few drinks and jumping behind the wheel can lead to unsafe driving conditions for you and other motorists. If you have been drinking and driving in Massachusetts and have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08%, you can be charged with a DUI. That cutoff is even lower for drivers under the age of 21, coming in at .02%.

Penalties for a DUI in Massachusetts

Penalties are understandably rigid in Massachusetts. If you drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher, you are in breach of Massachusetts DUI laws and can face the following consequences:

First offense:

  • Up to 30 months in jail
  • $500 to $5,000 in fines
  • License suspension up to one year

Second offense:

  • 60 days to 30 months in jail
  • $600 to $10,000 in fines
  • License suspension up to two years
  • Mandatory use of ignition interlock device

Third offense:

  • 180 days to five years in jail
  • $1,000 to $15,000 in fines
  • License suspension up to eight years
  • Vehicle’s registration plates canceled for the duration of suspension

Fourth offense:

  • Two to five years in jail
  • $1,500 to $25,000 in fines
  • License suspension up to ten years
  • Vehicle’s registration plates canceled for the duration of suspension

 

Sources and references:

  • https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXIV/Chapter90/Section20
  • https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXIV/Chapter90/Section24
  • https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXIV/Chapter90/Section17B
  • https://www.cavinsurance.com/texting-while-driving-in-massachusetts-stats-and-penalties/
  • https://www.mass.gov/service-details/understanding-auto-insurance
  • https://www.bostoncriminallawyer.com/massachusetts-drunk-driving-penalties.html
  • https://www.jeffreysglassman.com/massachusetts-no-fault-rules.html