Massachusetts law about auto insurance

Laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on motor vehicle insurance law.

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Table of Contents

Best bet

Automobile insurance, Mass. Division of Insurance.
Includes information on buying auto insurance, coverages, discounts, surcharge appeals, RMV appeals, and more.

Massachusetts laws

MGL c. 90, §§ 34A-34R Compulsory motor vehicle liability insurance

MGL c. 159A ½, § 5 Insurance requirements for transportation network companies and drivers

MGL c. 175 Insurance

  • § 4E Prohibits use of credit information in issuing or renewing auto insurance
  • § 113A Motor vehicle liability policies; contents; commissioner's approval; options to purchase policies or bonds; notice of reduced or eliminated coverages
  • § 113B Classification of risks and premium charges in connection with motor vehicle liability policies or bonds
  • § 113B½ Compulsory motor vehicle liability policy; at-fault minor accident
  • § 113C Notice to registrar of companies authorized to issue motor vehicle liability policies or to act as surety upon motor vehicle liability bonds; mandatory offer of additional coverage; limits
  • § 113D Cancellation of motor vehicle liability policy; proceedings; review
  • § 113E Deposit premiums
  • § 113F Notice of intent to not issue, extend or renew motor vehicle liability policy or to execute or act as surety on motor vehicle liability bond
  • § 113G Officers, directors and employees of company issuing or executing motor vehicle liability policies or bonds; financial interest in companies or agencies; restrictions
  • § 113H Assigned risk plans
  • § 113I Freedom of contract between insurers and agents or brokers; manner of issuing policies
  • § 113J Furnishing of reports of medical examinations of person injured in motor vehicle accident
  • § 113K Minors; contracts for motor vehicle liability insurance
  • § 113L Uninsured motorists; insufficient liability limits; coverage
  • § 113N Medical examination of applicant for motor vehicle liability policy or bond prohibited
  • § 113O Fire and theft or comprehensive coverage; payments for loss or damage to insured vehicle; statements to police; claim forms; actions for nonpayment
  • § 113P Appeals from application of safe driver insurance plan
  • § 113Q Inclusion of automobile club memberships in automobile insurance policy prohibited
  • § 113R Interest on refunds of overpayments or overdue payments of motor vehicle liability insurance premiums
  • § 113S Inspection of vehicles prior to provision of coverage
  • § 113T Repair shop coverage
  • § 113U Antique motor car policies
  • § 228 Transportation network drivers insurance requirements (Rideshare and gig drivers). Minimum insurance requirements, may be held by the company, driver or combination

Massachusetts regulations

211 CMR 74 Standards of fault to be used by the Board of Appeal on Motor Vehicle Liability Policies and Bonds and insurers in presuming fault when making at fault determinations
Lists motor vehicle accident "situations in which fault is presumed to be more than 50%."

211 CMR 79 Private passenger motor vehicle insurance rates
Applies to rates and premium charges for all types of coverages under private passenger motor vehicle insurance policies.

211 CMR 88 Procedures for the appeal of Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) motor vehicle accident surcharges and for conduct of SDIP motor vehicle accident surcharge hearings

211 CMR 134 Safe driver insurance plan
Lists minor and major traffic accidents and offenses which subject the violator to "points" on their auto insurance

211 CMR 135 Requirements regarding referrals to motor vehicle glass repair shops

220 CMR 274 Transportation network companies (Rideshare and gig drivers)

  • 220 CMR 274.09 Transportation network companies insurance

Selected cases

Commerce Ins. Co., Inc. v. Gentile, 472 Mass. 1012 (2015)
When grandparents explicitly listed their grandson as an excluded driver, and then allowed him to drive, or did not prevent him from driving, their car, the insurance company did not have to pay the optional coverage for bodily injury.

Commerce Ins. Co., Inc. v. Szafarowicz, 483 Mass. 247 (2019)
An insurer, who had defended under a reservation of rights and contested the judgment, was only bound by a settlement/assignment agreement reached in the underlying case if the agreement was found to be reasonable under the totality of the circumstances.

Golchin v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co., 466 Mass. 156 (2013)
The insured was "entitled to the MedPay benefits provided by her auto policy, [even though] the medical expenses at issue were covered by and paid under a separate policy of health insurance."

IDS Property Casualty Insurance Co. v. Government Employees Insurance Co., Inc. (GEICO), 985 F3d 41, U.S. Court of Appeals, January 13, 2021, No. 20-1407
An insurance company could rescind an auto policy because the policyholders did not comply with their duty to inform the insurer about the vehicle’s principal place of garaging and its customary drivers before the insurer automatically renewed their policy.

McGilloway v. Safety Insurance Company, 488 Mass. 610 (2021)
Allowing compensation for alleged inherent diminished value (IDV) to their vehicles after they were involved in collision

Oliviera v. Commerce Insurance Co., 94 Mass. App. Ct. 276 (2018)
Detailed discussion of the meaning of the phrase "related by blood" in auto insurance coverage for a household member.

Web sources

Appeal an auto insurance cancellation, Mass. Division of Insurance.
Provides instructions on how to appeal if your auto insurance was cancelled. Appeal must be filed before the cancellation date of the policy.

Auto and vehicle insurance, your car, your rights, Mass. Attorney General.
Includes filing a complaint, understanding and buying auto insurance, and more.

Basics of auto insurance, Mass. Division of Insurance.
Explains what auto insurance is and why you need it, including how to buy insurance, driving records and lowering premiums.

Frequently asked questions about auto insurance claims, Mass. Division of Insurance.
This information was compiled to help consumers answer some of the most frequently asked questions about personal automobile insurance, such as OEM parts, storage fees, windshields, and replacement value, among others.

Guide to navigating the auto claims maze: getting the settlement you deserve, Consumer Federation of America, 2011.
Includes "How to get your vehicle fixed at a repair shop of your choosing, not one chosen by your insurance company; how to contact insurance regulators if your insurance company doesn't resolve your claim to your satisfaction, and how to protect your personal information."

Massachusetts Auto Insurance Plan (MAIP), Mass. Division of Insurance.
The Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan (MAIP), sometimes call the Assigned Risk Pool, is a way for drivers to get auto insurance if they can’t find a company in the voluntary market. If you can’t find an insurance company willing to write you a policy, you will be assigned to an insurance company through the MAIP.

Massachusetts standard automobile insurance policy, Automobile Insurers of Mass.
There used to be a required standard policy in Mass, but that law was changed. Now, this policy "serves as an advisory filing which may be adopted by each insurance company, either in whole or in part, and modified to specify the insurer’s coverage and rules."

Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) and your auto insurance policy, Merit Rating Board.
"The SDIP may be used by your insurance company to adjust your auto insurance premium based on your driving record."

Surchargeable incidents, Merit Rating Board.
Surcharge Appeal information from the Mass. DOT and Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles. A surchargeable incident is an at fault accident or traffic law offense that may result in an increase in an operator's insurance premium.

Print sources

Massachusetts liability insurance manual, MCLE, 3rd edition, Chapter 2, Automobile insurance.

Massachusetts motor vehicle torts: liability and litigation, MCLE, 5th edition, 2023.

Motor vehicle law and practice, 5th edition (Mass. practice v.11, 12), West, 2021 with supplement, Chapter 9, Motor vehicle insurance.

Procedural forms annotated, 6th edition (Mass. practice v.10-10A), West, 2009 with supplement, Chapter 24, Complaints – insurance.

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Last updated: April 4, 2024

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