Best Car Insurance in Massachusetts

What do drivers in the Bay State need? The best car insurance in Massachusetts! This can be a difficult find even for the most experienced driver, but our guide below will lead you down the right road. Buckle up, it’s time to get rolling.

best car insurance

Table of Contents

Introduction

Whether you’ve been driving for twenty years or two months, buying auto insurance often feels like a confusing chore. Not only do you need to know the laws of the state in which you drive, but you also need to ensure your car is in working order, that you buy the right policy, and that you get a good price. Where do you even start?

The laws and requirements for drivers vary from one state to the next, too, further amplifying the confusion. Plus, how do you know that the insurance company you choose stands behind your policy, and will be there when you need them most? And let’s not even get started on customer service ratings, the ease of filing claims with different insurers, and even the types of optional coverage that you can buy.

It can be tempting to simply choose the cheapest insurance provider, or go with the same company your parents have used for decades. However, that might not be the best choice for you and your vehicle, so we encourage you to do your due diligence before choosing your new (or your next) insurance policy. This will ensure that you pay the best price for the best coverage from the best company possible.

Which is exactly what we are here to help you do.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about your legal requirements to drive in the state, different types of coverage available to you, potential penalties if you don’t follow the law, the customer service ratings of the companies available to you, and even an estimate of how much you can expect to pay. By the end of this article, you should have everything you need in order to make a confident, informed decision on your next auto insurance policy.

With that said, let’s get this ball rolling.

Compare Car Insurance Plans in Massachusetts


Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Car Insurance in Massachusetts

You have many auto insurance options if you live and drive in Massachusetts. This is great, because you have the ability to really shop around and find the perfect company for you and your needs. However, having a ton of choices can also make it difficult to determine which insurer is actually the right choice.

That’s exactly why we created this piece for drivers in the Bay State. We want to make shopping for auto insurance easier than ever, so we put in hours of research to bring you the most comprehensive guide available. Today, we will show you where you can find the best prices, how much you should expect to pay, what sort of coverage you’re required to have, and which companies offer the best service available.

Below are our five favorite insurance providers in Massachusetts. However, it’s important to remember that your own experience may vary (and with good reason!). Each driver is different, and we all need different things from our auto insurance companies. Factors like your location, age, driving record, and even the type of vehicle you drive can change the results; our suggestions can be used as a guide, but be sure to shop around thoroughly for yourself, too!

Without further ado, here are our top five picks in Massachusetts, based on their overall strengths and how well they take care of their drivers:

  • Best Overall Satisfaction: State Farm
  • Best Customer Service: Amica
  • Lowest Premiums: OneBeacon
  • Great If You Have a Perfect Record: Arbella
  • Best If You Have a Less-Than-Perfect Record: National Grange Mutual

Massachusetts Auto Insurance Requirements

Every state is unique when it comes to their auto insurance laws. Not only do policy types differ, but the amount of coverage you are required to hold can vary the moment you cross state lines.

While it can be tempting to simply choose an insurance company based on the price tag or even their popularity, there are so many other things to pay attention to before you can even look at the cost. For instance, you first need to know just how much coverage you’re required to carry, and which companies can offer it to you.

Failing to carry adequate coverage every time you get behind the wheel means that you will become an uninsured (or underinsured) driver. This can bring with it a slew of other penalties, and even runs the risk of destroying your finances for decades to come.

Let’s take a look at what the state of Massachusetts requires of its drivers, and the minimum level of coverage that you’ll need to purchase in order to be a legal driver there.

Coverage TypeMinimums
Bodily Injury Liability
Death or injury of one person in any one accident$20,000 minimum
Death or injury of 2+ people in any one accident$40,000 minimum
Property Damage Liability$5,000 minimum
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)$8,000 per person, per accident
Bodily Injury Caused By An Uninsured Auto$20,000 per person/$40,000 per accident

This means that there are actually four coverage types that you will need to carry in Massachusetts. Many other states only require two or three, so it’s easy to see how the limits above might be confusing. Plus, keep in mind that these are minimum limits, which means that you are welcome to purchase coverage in excess of these amounts.

So, what’s the difference between each one, and what purpose do they serve? Let’s take a look at what they each mean and why you’re responsible for carrying these different coverage types.

First up is property damage liability. This type of coverage is designed to protect different types of property that could be damaged in, or as a result of, an auto accident. Your property damage liability can be used to repair or replace someone else’s vehicle, their home, objects, buildings, or even signs and structures, assuming that they are damaged or destroyed due to an auto accident for which you are responsible (liable). Before you are considered a legal driver in the state of Massachusetts, you will have to carry no less than $5,000 in property liability coverage.

Next up is bodily injury liability coverage. This type of insurance is designed to cover medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, etc. for another person, if you are responsible for an accident and someone is injured. Massachusetts drivers are required to carry a policy with at least $20k/$40k of this type of coverage.

What does that split mean? Well, bodily injury liability is intended to protect one or more injured persons following an accident. If you are held liable for an accident in which only one person is hurt (and only carry state-minimum coverage), as much as $20,000 can be utilized to cover their expenses. However, if two or more people are injured, the $40,000 upper limit will be divided between the parties.

Massachusetts also requires its drivers to carry personal injury protection, or PIP, coverage. This type of auto insurance is intended to pay for medical bills and lost wages stemming from an accident, regardless of which driver is liable for the accident. PIP coverage requirements are designed to minimize the incidence of drivers suing one another over small claims and minimal injuries. No matter which driver caused the accident, your own PIP coverage will cover doctor’s appointments, a couple of days lost at work, and the like, without the expense and trouble of litigation.

Of course, serious injuries warrant filing a claim against the liable driver’s bodily injury coverage. If there is a traumatic injury or death following an accident, PIP coverage will likely not be enough. In that case, you’ll need to sue to have your bills paid, and pain and suffering compensated.

Lastly, Massachusetts drivers need to carry bodily injury caused by an uninsured auto coverage (I know, it’s a mouthful). This coverage does exactly what the name says: it kicks in to cover bodily injury if the accident is caused by someone who doesn’t have an insured vehicle. While Massachusetts has the lowest uninsured-driver rates in the country (only estimated to be 1 in 25), there is always a chance that you are hit by someone without adequate coverage.

If you are hit by an uninsured driver and get a minor injury, your $8,000 PIP coverage will come into play. However, if your injuries are more severe and you’re unable to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance (because they are uninsured), your own bodily injury caused by an uninsured auto coverage will step in. In Massachusetts, you’ll need to carry at least $20,000/$40,000 limits for this type of coverage.

Additional Coverage

Now you know what insurance types and coverage limits you are legally required to carry before you can drive in the state of Massachusetts. However, it’s important to remember that you are not limited to these amounts; they are simply the minimum you must hold.

Actually, it’s usually a smart idea to buy more than the minimum coverage required, to further protect yourself on the road. Additionally, there are other coverage types available for purchase, aside from the four mentioned here. While they will increase your premiums each month, they’re often well-worth the cost for the peace of mind they provide–especially if you’re ever in an at-fault accident.

Let’s say that you are responsible for an accident where the property damages equal $15,000 (this is not difficult to do, considering the cost of vehicles today). If you only carry the state-minimum coverage of $5,000, you’d be personally responsible for the remaining $10,000 in damages. If you had purchased additional coverage before the accident, though–carrying, say, $20,000 in property damage liability–your insurer will foot the entire bill. And you won’t be sued.

Penalties

Auto insurance isn’t just a good product to have, it’s the law!

Driving without at least the state-mandated minimum coverage is illegal. This means that you could be in serious trouble every time you get behind the wheel.

There are two types of illegal drivers, too. You can be an uninsured driver, who simply doesn’t have at least liability coverage as mandated by state law, or whose policy has expired. You can also be an underinsured driver; this means that you have some level of auto insurance, but you don’t have all of the requirements met as far as coverage types or limits.

No matter which category you fall into, you’ll be considered an illegal driver. And that comes with some serious penalties.

If you are ever stopped for a traffic violation or are involved in an auto accident (regardless of which driver is considered at-fault), you’ll be asked to provide proof of auto insurance coverage. If you cannot produce valid proof of coverage, you’ll receive a citation; if the reason you couldn’t show proof was because you didn’t have coverage, you’ll face much steeper penalties.

  • For your first “driving without auto insurance” violation, you will be subject to a license suspension lasting as much as 60 days, and a fine of up to $500. You may also be required to prepay for your next year’s worth of premiums when you do purchase coverage, and this will likely be at the highest rate class (meaning, it’ll be pricier than before).
  • If this is your second or third offense, you can expect a license suspension of up to a year, and fines up to $5,000. Depending on the judge and your situation, you could also be facing up to a year in state jail for every conviction after your first.

While it would be awful to spend time behind bars–in addition to paying out thousands of dollars in penalties and legal fees–for driving without insurance, that’s honestly the least of your concerns. The situation could get even worse.

A Bigger Risk

A traffic citation and court fine wouldn’t be fun; nor would a license suspension following a non-insured conviction. However, you run the risk of a much bigger repercussion every time you get behind the wheel without adequate coverage: getting in an accident.

As the name suggests, accidents are both unplanned and unintentional. Even still, they happen every day, and you never know when you will be involved in one. And if you don’t have auto insurance when one happens, you could wind up financially ruined in an instant.

You’re responsible for paying the damages and medical bills of the other driver(s), if you’re found at-fault for an accident, whether you have insurance or not. And if you don’t have insurance–or don’t have enough of it–you’ll be sued for those bills. This might mean tens of thousands of dollars that you’re expected to pay out of your pocket. Can’t afford them? They could sue you for your property, business, vehicles, or other assets.

Paying hundreds of dollars in premiums each year might be painful, but it’s nothing compared to the worst-case scenario: paying to repair/replace vehicles and covering medical bills out of pocket.

Proof of Insurance

Following your purchase of a new (or renewed) policy, drivers will receive what’s called “proof of insurance.” This comes in the form of an insurance card–which may or may not be an actual, physical card–and serves as both proof of a valid policy on the vehicle in question and as a reference for the coverage purchased.

Some insurance companies will provide drivers with a plastic insurance card, which they can keep in their wallets or vehicles. Others will only send a PDF via mail (or email) that can be printed and kept in the glovebox. Many insurance companies today will also offer drivers access to their proof of insurance through an online app or web platform.

Regardless of how your insurance company chooses to provide your proof of insurance, you’ll need to have it readily available every time you get behind the wheel of your car. This means keeping a physical card on your person or in the console, having the app ready to pull up, or all of the above. If you are in a car accident or pulled over for a traffic citation, you will need to be prepared to provide this proof of coverage to an officer and/or other driver involved.

Your proof of insurance will include a mix of important information, depending on the specific insurer you choose. This could include your:

  • Name (as the insured) and the names of others covered under the same policy
  • Vehicles covered under the policy
  • Policy number
  • Dates of valid coverage
  • Insurance company’s name, address, and phone number

Some insurance companies will choose to also include information such as your state’s mandated coverage minimums and your individual policy limits. Other companies will provide this information online or on your monthly statement, but not directly on your insurance card.

Average Cost of Coverage in Massachusetts

Buying auto insurance is an individual process, contingent on each driver’s individual factors: the vehicle they drive, their age, the coverage they want, and even where they live. Because of this, the cost for auto insurance can vary pretty significantly within each state, and even within specific cities.

While no one wants to overpay for insurance (or any product, for that matter), choosing an insurer simply because they offer the lowest price isn’t necessarily a great idea, either. There needs to be a good mix of quality and value: you want an insurance company that will protect you when you need them, but won’t break the budget along the way.

Knowing the average cost of auto insurance in your area can give you a good baseline to start your comparison shopping. Then, you can adjust the policy (and cost) according to your own coverage needs and preferences.

The average cost of auto insurance in Massachusetts ranks quite a bit above the U.S. national average. In fact, according to Business Insider, the Bay State tied for the #15 spot in terms of the most expensive auto insurance states in 2018. Of course, the state average only means so much: your own personal factors will have much more to do with the cost of premiums.

According to Quote Wizard, the average auto insurance policy in Massachusetts costs drivers $1,058.50 a year, or $88.20 a month. The national average, by comparison, is currently only $889.01 a year ($74.08 a month).

These averages include all policies purchased within the state, regardless of coverage limits, so keep that in mind when shopping around for your own policy. If you plan to only buy state-minimum coverage, you can expect to spend considerably less each year. However, if you want additional protection–such as comprehensive or collision coverage–you can expect to pay more than these numbers.

Let’s take a look at how the state average breaks down according to coverage limits. This will give you a better idea of how much you might pay, based on how much coverage you want to purchase.

CoveragePrice
Liability$606.04
Collision$388.28
Comprehensive$134.96
Total Cost Per Year$1,058.50
Price Per Month$88.20

As you can see, drivers who buy only the state-mandated liability coverage can expect to pay an average of $606.04 per year. Drivers who want collision coverage will pay a bit more; on average, they’ll spend $388.28 more each year for the added protection. And for those who want comprehensive coverage? They can expect to pay an average of $134.96 more annually.

We will reiterate once more that these are only averages. Your own premiums will be impacted by the coverage limits you choose, what kind of driver you are, the vehicle(s) you own, where you live, and any discounts for which you may qualify.

Discounts are usually given to those who are safe drivers, students, military members, or who add additional drivers onto the same policy. If you choose to bundle other coverage options–such as homeowner’s, renter’s, or even personal property insurance–through the same provider, you can often save even more.

Cheapest Car Insurance in Massachusetts

The less you pay in car insurance each month, the more money you keep in your pocket. We get it: you want to buy the cheapest policy possible, while still getting the reliability and coverage that you need. (You might have even skipped ahead to this section of the article, just to find out who is the cheapest!)

Never one to disappoint, we have done the research and we do know who offers the cheapest car insurance in the Bay State. But before we tell you, there are a few important things to mention.

The first is a reminder: a cheap price doesn’t always come with a reliable product. As with most things in life, you will often sacrifice quality for a rock-bottom price tag. So, don’t choose an insurance company solely because they can save you a few bucks. Believe us, you don’t want to save $6 a month just to learn that you won’t get the service you need when you have to file a claim.

Second: just because an insurance company offers the best price for your friend, sibling, or neighbor doesn’t mean that they will have the best deal for you. Some insurance companies cater to middle-age drivers with perfect records, while others specialize in competitive policies for high-risk drivers. That’s why it’s important to shop around for the company that’s right for you, and your individual factors.

In order to help you find the most affordable auto insurance companies in Massachusetts, we have created “Tom.” Tom is our sample driver: a 30-year old college graduate who lives alone in a condominium that he owns. He drives a total of 10,000 miles a year in his 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, has a clean driving record, and lives in Andover. (We will talk more about the importance of his location later.)

Tom only wants to buy the bare minimum in terms of his auto insurance policy–state-mandated liability coverage without any bells or whistles. Here’s what he can expect to pay:

Attention: The internal data of table “307” is corrupted!

You can expect your insurance premiums to vary according to your location, though–and the difference is sometimes significant. For example: Tom’s city of Andover, above, has below-average premiums when compared to the state as a whole. If Tom lived in Hyde Park instead–one of the higher-cost cities–he could expect to pay even more.

Insurance CompanyMonthly Premium
Arbella$115
OneBeacon$128
Safety Insurance$133
Commerce Insurance$134
Norfolk & Dedham$136
Vermont Mutual$150
National Grange Mutual$158
Hanover$158
Quincy Mutual$173
Liberty Mutual$192

As you can easily tell, Tom’s coverage options all went up in price when we moved him from Andover to Hyde Park, even though all of his other personal factors stayed the same. This just goes to show you the impact that location can have on auto insurance premiums, independent of any other factors.

For someone like Tom, OneBeacon seems to be a consistently lower-cost insurance option, staying in the top two for both locales. Safety Insurance is also a reliable option, no matter where you are in the state. For the other insurance providers, it will depend on where you live.

The True Cost of Auto Insurance in Massachusetts

We used “Tom” to show you how insurance premiums can change according to a driver’s location within the state. But how does this translate to your own auto insurance policy, and how much you can expect to pay?

As we’ve already mentioned, it’s impossible for us to tell you exactly how much you will pay for insurance coverage. In order to do that, we would have to know everything about you, including the car you drive, your age, your driving record, where you live, how much coverage you want to buy, your marital status, and even your credit score! It’s virtually impossible, given the things that actually go into calculating individual premiums.

The different factors that can impact your premiums include your:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Driving record
  • Education
  • Vehicle(s) covered
  • Whether your vehicle is financed, leased, or paid in full
  • ZIP code
  • Whether you own or rent your home
  • Miles driven each year and the purpose of those miles (work commute, pleasure, etc.)
  • How much coverage you want

Additionally, each auto insurance provider counts these factors differently when calculating a price. With some companies, a speeding ticket in the last year will weigh very heavily; at another, they might be more concerned with your credit score and education level.

As you already know, the average driver in Massachusetts is paying about $1,058 a year for auto insurance ($606 among those drivers opting for liability-only coverage). Your mileage may vary, as the saying goes, but that does give you a baseline of what to expect.

We didn’t want to leave you with those numbers, though. Just like we did with Tom above, we created four additional sample drivers to help you further narrow down your expected cost of auto insurance in the Bay State. We got insurance quotes for each of them, which we have included below.

These drivers are a bit more specific than Tom, and are each different from one another; while you probably won’t perfectly relate to any of them, there’s likely one that you are closer to than the rest. This will allow you to see which insurance providers are more likely to offer you the best price, and approximately how much you can expect to spend. You can also see how certain factors can impact the cost of coverage among drivers in the same area.

Our Sample Subjects

All four of our example drivers come from West Springfield, MA (area code 01085). We picked this city because it’s immediately below the state’s overall average, in terms of annual auto insurance premiums. It’s a good baseline to judge from, no matter where you live in Massachusetts.

best car insurance

First up is Little Timmy. He’s a 22-year-old college kid, working a part-time job while going to school and living in an apartment across town. He drives a financed 2012 Chevrolet Impala (about 15,000 miles a year), and racked up two speeding tickets last year.

Next up are John and Jane Smith. These married parents are 42-years-old, college grads, and have great credit. They have a mortgage on their home, own a 2011 Chevrolet Equinox outright, are paying down a 2014 Toyota Sienna, and drive about 16,000 miles a year. John has a perfect driving record, but Jane rear-ended another car six months ago (it was a very minor accident).

Then we have Straight-Laced Sally, 35. With her perfect driving record and excellent credit, she’s an insurance company’s dream. She owns a condo, owns her 2010 Toyota Camry, has a college degree, and drives about 10,000 miles a year.

Last up is Grandpa Joe. At 65-years-young, he still cruises around in his 1998 Honda Civic for about 8,000 miles each year. His driving record is clean, his credit is good, he graduated from college 40 years ago, and he owns his home.

We know, you aren’t likely to relate to any of these drivers perfectly. However, there is probably one that you are most similar to, which you can use to predict your own premiums (and get a good idea of which companies would be best). You can also use the difference between the drivers to see how your own personal factors will impact the price you will pay.

Here’s a look at each of our four drivers’ quotes for state-minimum liability coverage: (Quotes provided by The Zebra)

 Little TimmyJohn & Jane SmithStraight-Laced SallyGrandpa Joe
National Grange Mutual$99/month$134$67$43
OneBeacon$115$133$56$40
Arbella$131$72$35$43
Vermont Mutual$150$169$68$50
Commerce Insurance$177$178$80$68
Norfolk & Dedham$181$170$83$79
Quincy Mutual$197$190$92$100
Hanover$228$173$85$66
Safety Insurance$242$193$83$51
Liberty Mutual$330$178$111$71

Obviously, the cost for coverage can vary pretty significantly, even among drivers in the same ZIP code who want the same level of coverage. The difference in cost isn’t just dependent on each driver and their personal factors, either; it also varies from one insurance provider to another. You can–and should–expect to see the same happen when shopping around for your own auto insurance policy.

There are some patterns that we can see when looking at this data, though. These may or may not help you when shopping for coverage of your own.

For example, we found that Arbella was consistently one of the most affordable options for our drivers (well, for everyone except Little Timmy). We also found Norfolk & Dedham to be in the middle of the list for each sample driver. Other than that, though, the cheapest and most expensive insurers truly varied from one driver to the next.

We can see the effect that things like speeding tickets can have on premiums, as well as driver inexperience (age). These seem to be the two most impactful factors on the price you’ll pay for coverage, though your credit score, the type of vehicle(s) you drive, and your education all come into play.

Massachusetts’s Unique Car Insurance Rules

Each state is unique in its insurance rules and regulations, and Massachusetts is no different. Not only are limits and requirements different when you cross state lines, but there are even different ways that you’ll need to go about gaining coverage.

Here are a few things you’ll find when buying insurance in the Bay State, which you may not find everywhere else.

Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan (MAIP)

It’s not too difficult to become a high-risk driver: you simply need to get a number of citations and/or accidents under your belt, earn a DUI/DWI conviction, fail to pay your insurance premiums, or get caught driving without coverage. And if you’re a high-risk driver, you’ll have some serious issues with trying to find an insurer to offer you an insurance policy the next time around.

If you have tried to obtain auto insurance on the voluntary market and can’t find a company that will offer you a policy, you’ll need to turn to the MAIP, or Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan. This program was designed to connect drivers who can’t get coverage with insurance companies who are mandated to provide such, and might be your only option if your record is poor enough.

MAIP isn’t an insurance provider; they are an agency that requires the providers in the state to take on a percentage of the high-risk drivers seeking coverage. MAIP will assign drivers to these insurance companies, dictating that they offer drivers an auto insurance policy for a specified period of time. The companies aren’t required to allow high-risk drivers to renew their policies after the mandated coverage period has ended, either.

The MAIP will help you find coverage, sure, but that doesn’t mean it will be cheap: you’ll almost always be forced to pay considerably more for your auto insurance than you would without a high-risk driving record. In fact, MAIP-assigned insurance companies can charge drivers all the way up to the Plan’s established maximum cost. However, if a pricey policy is the only option when faced with staying uninsured, it’s well-worth the price tag in the end.

Following a MAIP-assigned coverage term, you can start looking on the voluntary market for coverage once more. If you still can’t find an insurance company willing to offer a policy on their own, you can apply for MAIP once again.

Credit Can Be a Factor

Most adults already realize the importance of their credit score in their daily life. It impacts everything from the interest rates for which you qualify to the credit cards you can open and even the apartments you can rent. But you might not know that your credit score can also affect the rate you’ll pay for auto insurance.

Related: Experian Boost Review – Improve Your Credit Score for Free

In Massachusetts, auto insurance providers are allowed to take drivers’ credit histories into consideration when calculating premiums. This means that if you have negative reports on your credit or a history or mismanaging your finances, you could wind up paying more for auto coverage. Conversely, a healthy credit score can snag you added discounts on your premiums.

When applying for auto insurance, you’ll likely be asked for your approximate credit score range. The company many also conduct a soft pull, or inquiry, on your credit to gather information. This soft pull won’t result in an inquiry on your credit report and won’t drop your score in any way, but will allow the insurance company to see if you have any notable results.

Insurance providers cannot deny a driver coverage–or drop an existing insurance customer–based on the results of a soft credit inquiry alone. However, they can use their findings to adjust premiums up or down.

Your ZIP Code Matters

In addition to your credit score, there are a few other numbers that can easily impact the cost of your auto insurance: your ZIP code.

We saw an example of this above with Tom, whose premiums shot up considerably when he moved to a new city, even though none of his personal factors changed. Living in a more urban area usually means paying more for coverage, likely because there are more cars and people around which equates to more opportunities for damage or accidents or theft.

By contrast, rural areas–which are more sparsely populated and have less registered vehicles–will often mean a lower price. The move doesn’t need to be to an entirely different area in order to shift your premiums, either. Sometimes, moving just a couple blocks away (but into a new ZIP code) is all it takes.

Of course, your personal factors and driving record will matter most of all when it comes to how much you’ll pay for auto insurance. Even still, the impact that your location can have is worth noting.

Top Car Insurance Companies in Massachusetts

So, which auto insurance companies are other drivers in Massachusetts using? Are certain insurers more popular than others and, if so, why?

We wanted to be able to answer this question for you, so we took a look at the market share among insurers in the state. Here’s what we found; these are the top six auto insurance companies in the state:

car insurance

Being the most popular–like being the cheapest–doesn’t always mean that you’re the best, though. Are these six most-popular companies really the ones you should personally go with in your own coverage search?

Customer Satisfaction

To answer this, we wanted to see how each measured up in terms of customer service and financial stability, regardless of how often fellow Massachusetts drivers chose them. To do so, we needed to look at customer reviews and industry standard rankings.

While popularity does speak to a company’s performance (surely customers aren’t flocking to them if they’re awful…. right?), it doesn’t give a very accurate picture on its own. After all, you can boast the largest market share but not actually take care of your customers when they need you most. That’s why customer service ratings are important; they will give you an idea of just how reliable that company will be when you need their services–not just when they come calling for premiums.

To get an accurate idea of how these companies measured up against one another, we looked at two industry authorities, JD Power and A.M. Best. Both of these companies are well-respected and offer a comprehensive view of the reliability, stability, and inner workings of each insurer. Using their ratings, you will be able to confidently gauge your options before ever signing up.

Commerce Insurance

As you can see from our chart above, Commerce Insurance holds a significant market share in Massachusetts. They account for 28.8% of the drivers in the state, which is almost 3x the second-most popular insurer; however, it was very interesting to see that they didn’t even make it into JD Power’s auto insurance study. Therefore, they are the first insurance company holding a top-five market share for whom we couldn’t give readers a JD Power ranking.

  • A.M. Best: “A” (Excellent) financial strength rating and “a” long-term issuer credit rating
  • JD Power: Not rated in the JD Power Auto Insurance Study

Safety Insurance

Coming up next is Safety Insurance, with 10.9% of the market–almost a third of Commerce Insurance’s share. However, they did make it onto JD Power’s study and rankings (and have the highest ranking of any of our top companies listed here), giving us a better idea of how they measure up with their customers.

  • A.M. Best: “A” (Excellent) financial strength rating and “bbb+” long-term issuer credit rating
  • JD Power: #8 with a 3-star overall satisfaction rating

Liberty Mutual

No matter where you are in the country, you’ve likely heard of Liberty Mutual. Unlike some of the other top-five insurers in Massachusetts, this company isn’t regional, meaning that they provide coverage to customers all across the United States (and cover 9.1% of Massachusetts drivers). While they weren’t the most affordable option for any of our example drivers, they do have a strong company and reputation.

  • A.M. Best: “A” (Excellent) financial strength rating and “a” long-term issuer credit rating
  • JD Power: #10 in the region with a 3-star overall satisfaction rating

Arbella Mutual

Another regional insurer, Arbella Mutual, comes in with fourth place and 9.0% of the market share in the state. Their financial and credit ratings are comparable to many of the bigger name companies, but are further down the list with JD Power.

  • A.M. Best: “A-” (Excellent) financial strength rating with an “a-” long-term issuer credit rating
  • JD Power: #14 in the region with a 2-star rating in overall satisfaction

Plymouth Rock

In fifth place is Plymouth Rock, boasting only 5.9% of the state’s drivers. However, they hold a decent spot on JD Power’s list, and have excellent ratings through A.M. Best.

  • A.M. Best: “A-” (Excellent) financial strength rating and an “a-” long-term issuer credit rating
  • JD Power: #11 in the region with a 2-star overall satisfaction rating

Premier Insurance (renamed Traveler’s)

Last up is Travelers of Massachusetts, previously known as Premier Insurance, which is a subsidiary of much-larger The Travelers Companies, Inc. They carry only 5.8% of the state’s market, but have a strong national name behind them in addition to pretty good ratings.

  • A.M. Best: “A” (Excellent) financial strength rating and an “a+” long-term issuer credit rating
  • JD Power: #12 in the region with a 2-star overall satisfaction rating

Almost all regions in the country saw USAA as the top-ranked insurer, according to JD Power. Massachusetts was an exception, where we saw the military-based union come in with second place. In the Northeast region, JD Power actually ranked Amica Mutual as the top insurer, with State Farm coming in third.

Need More?

No matter if you’re a brand-new driver or a seasoned veteran of the open road, the auto insurance buying process can be confusing. Hopefully, this guide has helped you determine exactly how much coverage you need, how much you should be spending, the factors that will impact your premiums, and even which companies are the best places to look first.

If you still need help with questions or concerns, or if you have specific needs that weren’t addressed in this guide, you can always contact the state offices directly for more. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles’ website, found here, is also resource-rich.

Happy driving in the Bay State!

Topics: Auto InsurancecarsInsurance

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