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Appeal an At-Fault Accident Determination

A driver who has been involved in an accident may receive a Notice of At-fault Accident Determination (formerly known as a Surcharge Notice) from his/her insurance company if the company believes the driver of the vehicle was more than 50% at fault.

Board of Appeal

The Details of Appeal an At-Fault Accident Determination

What you need for Appeal an At-Fault Accident Determination

You will be issued a Notice of At-Fault Accident Determination if you are involved in an auto accident in which your insurance company:

  • determines that you are more than 50% at fault;
  • pays out more than $1000.00 on the claim; and
  • you fall into one of the Standard of Fault categories set forth in Division of Insurance regulations.

To appeal your insurance company’s determination that you were more than 50% at fault for an accident:

  • Your insurance company will mail you a Notice of At-Fault Accident Determination.
  • If any of the information listed on the Notice of At-Fault Accident Determination is incorrect (name, driver's license number or date of accident), contact the issuing insurance company to make the corrections before appealing.
  • If you do not receive a Notice of At-Fault Accident Determination or misplace it, contact your insurance agent or insurance company for a copy of the Notice of At-Fault Accident Determination OR request a Late Appeal Form from the Merit Rating Board of the Registry of Motor Vehicles. ​​​​​
  • Complete the Appeal Form located on the reverse side of the Notice of At-Fault Accident Determination.The appeal must be filed within 30 days of the date of the notice.  
  • If you did not submit your Appeal Form within 30 days because you did not receive a Notice of At-Fault Accident Determination, you can obtain a Late Appeal Form from the Merit Rating Board. The Board of Appeal will not guarantee acceptance of a Late Appeal Form. Each form is reviewed, and the determination to either accept or reject the form is made individually.
  • Your cashed check will serve as your receipt. Additionally, once your appeal has been properly entered into the Board of Appeal’s system, a postcard acknowledgement will be mailed to you.

 

NOTE:  ALL MATERIAL SUBMITTED TOWARD YOUR APPEAL WILL BECOME PART OF THE BOARD'S OFFICIAL RECORD, AND CANNOT BE RETURNED.  IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU MAKE ADDITIONAL COPIES OF DOCUMENTATION TO RETAIN FOR YOUR RECORDS.

Fees for Appeal an At-Fault Accident Determination

  • Enclose with your appeal form a non-refundable $50.00 check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • Mail your appeal to the post office box designated on the Appeal Form. Late Appeal forms must be sent directly to: Division of Insurance, Board of Appeal, Late Appeal Form Section, 1000 Washington Street, Suite 810, Boston, MA 02118.

How to appeal Appeal an At-Fault Accident Determination

The Board of Appeal will mail you a Hearing Notice approximately 3 weeks prior to your hearing date.  Your appeal will be heard by a Hearing Officer of the Board of Appeal. 

Carefully note the location of your hearing listed on the Hearing Notice. Directions are included at the bottom of the Hearing Notice. 

Upon receipt of the Hearing Notice, you have three options for which to pursue the appeal:

       Appear in Person:

  • Bring your Hearing Notice to the scheduled location.  You must bring copies of all relevant information, any documents, photographs etc. that you want the Hearing Officer to consider when making the appeal decision. All evidence material you submit must be kept by the Hearing Officer for the record.

       Submit a Written Statement in lieu of your personal appearance:

  • The Board of Appeal must receive your written or typed statement via mail or facsimile at least 5 days prior to your hearing.  The statement must include your signature on the Hearing Notice, which identifies that you are waiving a personal appearance in favor of your written statement and affirms that your statement is truthful. You must also include copies of all relevant information, including documents, photographs, etc. that you want the Hearing Officer to consider in making the appeal decision.

       Select a representative to appear on your behalf.

  • If you elect to submit a written statement via a representative instead of appearing in person, it MUST includyour signature on the Hearing Notice, which identifies that you are waiving a personal appearance in favor of your written statement AND
  • A letter stating that you have appointed a representative to appear on your behalf, and which affirms that your written statement is truthful AND 
  • Copies of all relevant information  including documents, photographs etc. that you want the Hearing Officer to consider in making the decision.

More info for Appeal an At-Fault Accident Determination

Please note: Only an at-fault Accident Determination can be appealed to the Board of Appeal. A premium increase from a traffic violation or a non-moving violation may not be appealed to the Board of Appeal. Any questions regarding this type of incident should be directed to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Please note: If you disagree with the determination of the Board of Appeal, you can appeal the decision to your county's Superior Court or in (Boston) Suffolk County Superior Court. In accordance with M.G.L. c. 30A, § 14 and Superior Court Standing Order 1-96, you must file this appeal within 30 days of your receipt of the decision. Enclose to Superior Court:a certified copy of the Memorandum of Finding and Order, which can be obtained from the Board of Appeal for a fee of $20.00 and your complaint against the Board of Appeal.

 

Contact for Appeal an At-Fault Accident Determination

Address
1000 Washington Street, Suite 810, Boston, MA 02118
Fax
Board of Appeal—Surcharge/At-fault Hearings (617) 521-7772
Board of Appeal—Registry Hearings (617) 521-7539
Address
Mailing address
P.O. Box 55889, Boston, MA 02205-5889
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