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What is Car Insurance?

Owning and operating a vehicle comes with certain inherent risks, as is evidenced by the thousands of accidents that occur on a daily basis. Even the most careful of Massachusetts drivers will probably be in an accident (or several) eventually. Car insurance doesn’t minimize the likelihood of accidents occurring, but it helps protect drivers from the financial consequences of accidents they’re in.

Accidents can be expensive. A minor accident can result in thousands of dollar worth of damage, and major ones can result in multi-million dollar settlements. Because the financial fallout of accidents can be so large, most drivers should purchase robust car insurance coverage.

Do Drivers Need Auto Coverage in Place Before Purchasing a New Vehicle?

Generally speaking, drivers should have auto coverage in place the day they take ownership of a new vehicle. Unexpected incidents can occur on the first day of ownership, and drivers typically need coverage before they can register a vehicle.

While coverage should be in place on the day a vehicle’s ownership is transferred, drivers don’t always have to wait until this day to put coverage in place. It’s often possible to set up coverage for the appropriate day as soon as drivers know when they’ll take possession and the vehicle’s vehicle identification number (VIN). A vehicle’s color, year, make and model might also be needed, but can usually be obtained once a VIN is known.

 

 

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Who in Massachusetts Needs Auto Insurance?

As mentioned, most drivers should have auto insurance. Getting coverage isn’t only a matter of personal risk assessment, however. Most drivers in Massachusetts are required to have minimum levels of the following auto coverages:

  • Personal Injury Coverage, which normally covers injuries sustained by a driver and their passengers

  • Bodily Injury Coverage, which normally covers injuries sustained by people outside a drivers’ vehicle

  • Property Damage Coverage, which normally covers damage done to other people’s property

  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage, which normally covers accidents involving inadequately insured drivers

While state law stipulates minimum levels of protection for each of these coverages, many drivers elect to get more than the minimum-required amount of protection. Opting for higher limits provide better protection against the potentially high costs of an accident.

What Other Coverage Does Auto Insurance Provide?

While the state’s coverage requirements provide basic protection, insurers also offer a range of optional coverages. Some of the optional coverages that drivers often get include:

  • Comprehensive Coverage, which may cover damage a vehicle sustains in a non-accident incident

  • Collision Coverage, which might cover damage a vehicle sustains in a multi-vehicle accident

  • Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage, which might help pay for a rental car if a vehicle’s unsafe to drive after an accident

  • Pet Coverage, which might cover injuries sustained by pets in a vehicle

Emergency roadside assistance, which frequently includes changing flat tires, delivering emergency fuel and towing, is often also available.

How Can Drivers Save on Auto Insurance?

Insurance companies offer drivers many different ways to save on auto insurance. Some common discounts and savings programs are:

  • Safe driver discounts

  • Multi-policy discounts

  • Good student discounts

  • Low mileage discounts

  • Pay in full discounts

In addition to all of these opportunities, shopping for a policy with a knowledgeable and independent insurance agent is one of the best ways to find affordable yet robust auto coverage. Unlike an insurance agent who works exclusively with one insurance company, an independent insurance agent can compare multiple policies from different insurers. They can compare various companies’ policies rates and coverages.

How Can Massachusetts Drivers Get Car Insurance Quotes?

While it’s possible to get car insurance quotes in minutes, Massachusetts drivers are generally better off when they go through the quote-finding process with an experienced, independent agent. Getting multiple quotes with an independent agent takes just a few minutes, and an agent makes the comparison process easier. They know what to look for in policies and what to avoid in policies.

 

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