Shopping For Insurance
Parts 1 - 5

1. Will Competition Lower My Premium?

Competition is designed to encourage insurance companies to offer their lowest possible premium to each driver. Although the majority of Massachusetts policyholders will probably benefit from reduced rates under the new system, the amount that you pay will depend on your individual risk factors, such as your driving record, the territory in which you live, and other rating factors approved by the Division of Insurance.


2. How Should I Shop For Auto Insurance?

First you should determine what types of coverage you need, and how much of each type you need. Once you have decided what you need, you should then get premium quotes for that coverage from several companies. You can do this by working with one or more agents and by contacting different insurance companies directly.
For a current list of all insurance companies offering auto insurance in Massachusetts, please visit the DOI's website at www.mass.gov/doi.


3. How Should I Decide Where To Purchase My Policy?

Once you have chosen the types and amounts of coverage that you need, you will need to obtain quotes from different insurance companies in order to find the best price. Make sure the premium quotes you are getting from each company are for the same coverage. Once you have determined which companies will provide you with the best price for the coverage you need, you may wish to speak with family members, friends and neighbors to learn about their claims experiences. While price is certainly an important factor in deciding which insurance company to choose, it is not the only factor. Price, discounts, claims handling, location, or the company's financial health are all legitimate factors you might consider in buying insurance. Ultimately, you must decide which features are most important to you.


4. Can I Pay My Premium in Installments?

Most companies offer installment plans to allow policyholders to spread out their payments. The company typically adds a service fee to policies making use of the installment plan option. If you are assigned to an insurer through the MAIP, you will be offered an installment plan unless you have previously had a policy cancelled for non-payment, or if you have made a payment with a bounced check. For policies written on the voluntary market, installment plans are optional.

5. Online Shopping Resources

If you are unsure about how to start shopping, or if you do not know which companies offer automobile insurance in Massachusetts, you can get information from the Division's Sample Premium website at www.mass.gov/autorates . The premiums you see on this website are NOT premium quotes. They are sample premiums based on sample driver profiles and intended only to be used as examples. The only place you can get an actual premium quote is from a company or an agent.
The website allows you to review the sample premiums from each company based on a general customer profile. The website also offers you the ability to link directly to a company, or search for an agent in your area to obtain an actual quote based on your detailed profile.