Consumer Resources

Everything Consumers Need to Know about Insurance

Table of Contents

I Want To...

Did you know that you can file an insurance complaint online? You can also search for licensed insurance companies and agents in Massachusetts. Please note, the Division of Insurance's Consumer Services Unit can only attempt to resolve your complaint as long as it is within the DOI's jurisdiction. CSU also cannot advise you or make recommendations or suggestions with regard to your selection of an insurance company or agent. 

File An Insurance Complaint

Find An Insurance Company

Find An Insurance Agent

Find a Lost Life Insurance Policy 

Find Licensed Individuals and Business Entities

File a Public Records Request

Find DOI bulletins, information on hearings and insurance-related laws and regulations

Insurance Basics

Insurance companies and insurance producers (agents and brokers) need to be licensed to sell insurance in Massachusetts. In order to be licensed, an insurer must demonstrate it meets the state's minimum financial requirements to pay claims now and in the future. It must also agree to participate in the state's guaranty fund designed to protect policyholders if any licensed insurance company is financially unable to pay its claims.

Insurance companies generally use one of three methods to market their product to you. Consider which of the below best meets your needs. You can also ask your neighbors, friends or relatives for recommendations regarding their company's service and price.

  • Direct marketing- sell insurance through the mail and by telephone.
  • Exclusive producers-insurance companies sell coverage through producers that only represent their company.
  • Independent producers-insurance companies sell coverage through producers who represent several companies.

You should also make sure that you understand commonly used insurance terms, such as deductible, exclusion or underwriting. Check out this glossary of insurance terms to help pave the way for clear and effective communication:

As you consider any insurance policy, be aware that an insurance policy is a legal contract describing the promise an insurance company gives you that the company will pay for the costs of certain identified losses that may occur in the policy period in return for your payment of regular premiums.

To truly understand a particular type of coverage, it is very important that you take the time to read your policy and learn what is and what is not covered as well as your rights and responsibilities under the policy.

The insurance company offering the coverage or your agent should be able to help you with an analysis of the appropriate coverage for your situation, but it is up to you to choose the right policy for your needs. 

Additional Resources

Guides to Insurance Coverages

Service Contracts

Massachusetts consumers may consider purchasing a service contract to protect their personal property if repair or replacement of the property covered by the contract becomes necessary.  Service contracts are a guarantee, negotiated and purchased separately from the sale of a product, that provide protection for defective parts, mechanical or electrical breakdown, labor, or other remedial measures, such as repair or replacement of the property or repetition of services.

Service Contracts

Severe Weather and Disaster Information

Natural disasters, severe weather events, or emergency situations can occur at any time. Check out these tips for preparing for a disaster before one happens, and figuring out your first steps should you be impacted by a severe weather event or emergency. 

Consumer Insurance and Disaster Information


The Board of Appeal

The role of the Board of Appeal is to conduct hearings for consumers appealing: an at-fault for a motor vehicle accident; a decision of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles; an insurance cancellation.

Additional Resources

Contact   for Consumer Resources


Open Monday to Friday 8:45 am-5:00 pm


1000 Washington Street, Suite 810, Boston, MA 02118

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