Save On Auto Insurance


Massachusetts Makes Top 10 for Least Expesive Auto Insurance

A recent survey published by Insure.com has revealed the United States most and least expensive states for auto insurance. The study was based on the average auto insurance premium for more than 2,400 vehicles in 10 zip codes per state with six of the United State’s largest auto insurance providers.

With an average auto insurance premium of $2,510.87, Lousiana takes the lead for the most expensive state to insure a vehicle. Insure.com reasons Louisiana holds this title as a result of the state’s court system and the rough condition its roads are in. Not far behind is Michigan as the second most expensive state to insure an auto at an average premium of $2,098.29. Michigan’s high insurance rates can be attributed to a state medical law and a terribly high unemployment rate. With unemployment at a whopping 15% many are driving uninsured, which increases the burden on insurance companies and in turn a driver’s premium.

Maine however has nothing to complain about as it comes in as the least expensive state to insure a vehicle with an average premium of $902.85. Maine’s low rates can be attributed to a couple factors including less people on the road and less traffic congestion as well as a low number of accident claims. Additionally at least 30 insurance providers offer coverage in Maine, increasing competition and pushing premiums down.

When the Massachusetts auto insurance market was deregulated additional insurance providers entered the scene encouraging greater competition and gradually lower auto insurance premiums. Massachusetts holds out as at the 7th least expensive state to insure an automobile. The best way to find the lowest insurance premium is through comparing quotes through different carriers. MassDrive compares auto insurance premiums and coverages for you, saving you time and money. Give a friendly MassDrive agent a call for a free quote comparison today!

TOP TEN MOST & LEAST EXPENSIVE STATES FOR AUTO INSURANCE & AVERAGE PREMIUM

Top Ten Most Expensive:

1. Louisiana $2,510.87
2. Michigan $2,098.29
3. Oklahoma $1,869.39
4. Montana $1,857.96
5. California $1,774.41
6. South Dakota $1,772.83
7. Washington, D.C. $1,753.19
8. Georgia $1,751.42
9. Illinois $1,679.15
10. Connecticut $1,678.90

Top Ten Least Expensive:

1. Maine $902.85
2. Vermont $968.58
3. Ohio $999.86
4. Wisconsin $1,010.93
5. New Hampshire $1,011.23
6. Iowa $1,039.04
7. Massachusetts $1,043.80
8. North Carolina $1,130.45
9. Arizona $1,152.50
10. Tennessee $1,170.12

Recourse for Toyota Drivers & At Fault Accidents

Toyota drivers involved in recent recalls have worried about how this will affect their auto insurance coverage and premiums. Although a standard auto insurance policy does not exclude vehicles damaged while under recall, drivers may face additional surcharges and/ or costs if they were involved in an at fault accident. Thankfully Massachusetts residents have the option to appeal a court decision over an at fault accident, a privilege that was almost taken away by the former Massachusetts Commissioner of Insurance Nonnie Burnes.

Burnes felt, according to an article by William Lapointe, that with the newly deregulated market drivers would be able to shop around and find lower rates thus making no need for an appeals board as the driver may simply switch carriers. Massachusetts residents were weary of this measure to eliminate the Board of Appeals, however the final push to keep the Board came when the spot light focused on the fact that if a driver was assessed fault of an accident, although they have the ability to chose a different carrier their SDIP, or license point assessment, would remain the same. Pressure from the public, legislators and lobbyists was enough to force the government to maintain the Board of Appeals.

The Massachusetts Board of Appeals hears approximately 50,000 cases in a year from drivers who believe they were wrongly assessed the blame for an at fault accident. On average about half of the appeals are overturned and the at-fault-accident is removed from the driver’s record as well as surcharges by a driver’s insurance company.

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance issued a Consumer Alert announcing hearings for drivers who appealed a decision prior to the recall would be reopened. The Massachusetts Board of Appeals was not previously aware of the manufacturer’s defect and is looking to overturn any court decisions a Toyota driver may feel was wrongly determined with the new knowledge of the nation wide recall. After an at fault accident a driver should automatically receive a notice for their right to appeal the decision.

Appeal hearings are open to the public and for the most part informal. A written appeal is read by the hearing officer and after this is read the driver will proceed to make his or her case for the appeal. It is also good to be aware that a representative for the insurance carrier will also be present. A person’s driving record is one of the most important determinants of auto insurance premiums. Do not take it lightly if you have been wrongly assessed fault of an accident.

Managed Competition = Driver's Savings

Before 2008 Massachusetts auto insurance rates were set by the Massachusetts Commissioner of Insurance by the fix-and-establish system. The previous system relied on zip code and driving record to determine rates, in the new deregulated system carriers use their own methods of calculating rates and has in result increased competition saving driver’s money on auto insurance.

With managed competition new advantages have surfaced in the Massachusetts auto insurance market including: additional insurance companies, independent agencies have gained additional carriers to represent and the state has experienced a decrease in number of uninsured motorists. From the early 1990s through up to 2008 the number of insurance companies offering private passenger auto insurance had fallen from 35 to 19, however in the first year of managed competition nine companies entered Massachusetts’ auto insurance market. According to the Department of Insurance average premiums per vehicle on the road have decreased 8.2 % in the first year alone!

Under managed competition insurance providers can give additional discounts previously unavailable. For example an insurance carrier can give a driver discounts for holding a AAA membership or owning a home. It is important to also realize that providers may chose to or not to impose surcharges for traffic violations but cannot use at-fault accidents that took place more than six years prior to your policy effective date.

Although it is important to note auto insurance is under managed competition. This means although auto insurance companies may chose to set their own rates, the state of Massachusetts must approve them. Insurance carriers may also offer differing discounts, almost necessitating a driver shop differing carriers. Start shopping today by calling MassDrive where a representative will compare insurance quotes from multiple carriers for you!

Specifics on Toyota Recall & At-Fault-Accidents

Drivers who own vehicles recalled by Toyota over the past month have raised concerns about what this means for their insurance coverage and rates. Drivers who were involved in an accident prior to the recall have faced surcharges other related costs of an “at-fault-accident” that may have been due to the manufacturer’s defects and reason for recall.

Thankfully Massachusetts drivers have an appeal provision that protects these drivers from additional charges and costs of an accident due to Toyota’s recalled parts. The Board of Appeals hears approximately 50,000 cases each year, of which about half the original verdicts are reversed. Once overturned the “at-fault-accident” affecting a drivers record and increasing a driver’s insurance rates will be removed.

Drivers who wish to appeal a decision should discuss the appeal with their local agent first. Speaking with an agent will give the driver a better understanding of the terminology and may share a greater knowledge of auto insurance w to use in Massachusetts insurance carriers are required to use specific standards of fault when determining someone’s responsibility or fault in an accident. One of these standards includes the “Standard of Fault 19” in a collision that a single vehicle is involved, the fault is assessed to the person driving that vehicle. In other words if the accelerator of a recalled Toyota became stuck and the vehicle drove into a tree or other object, besides another vehicle, fault would be assessed to the driver. This is an at-fault-accident someone would want to bring to the Court of Appeals to remove this at fault accident from their record.

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance issued a Consumer Alert that announced hearings for drivers who appealed a decision prior to the recall would be reopened. The board was not previously aware of the manufacturer’s defect and is seeking to right any court decision that a Toyota driver may feel would have been different with the recall. After an at fault accident a driver should automatically receive a notice for their right to appeal the decision.

Appeal hearings are open to the public and for the most part informal. The written appeal is read by the hearing officer and the driver is then going to make his or her case for the appeal. It is also good to be aware that a representative for the insurance carrier will also be present. A person’s driving record is one of the most important determinants of auto insurance premiums. It should not be taken lightly when you are wrongly assessed fault of an accident.

Progressive Falls Behind

Flo, the popular Progressive personality, will bring higher premiums with her quirky commercials and price zapping gun this quarter. Progressive entered the Massachusetts auto insurance market two years ago with rates attractively lower than most competitors. The lower premiums however have not endured as Progressive raises their rates for a fourth time since their debut in 2008. The new price increase of 6.63% will raise prices a grad total of about 16% over the last two years.

Andrew Quigg, a Progressive executive in charge of the company’s Massachusetts business states,”We’re still very competitive… Thousands of consumers still shop around and find us to have the lowest cost for auto insurance.” Even so, Progressive has become less and less attractive to the Massachusetts driver as time continues to provided a history of constantly increasing premiums. If these price increases continue to follow their repetitive pattern, Quigg’s statement is unlikely to remain true for long.

Insurance commissioner Joe Murphy told the Boston Globe he believes the deregulated auto insurance market, “has been wildly successful.” And successful it has been. The Massachusetts Division of Insurance reports drivers saved $270 million in the first year of deregulation. Eleven new insurance carriers have entered the Massachusetts auto insurance market since the new system emerged. Before deregulation insurance rates were set by the government and depended upon the driver’s location and driving record only. The new market allows insurance carriers to offer discounts from holding a AAA membership to owning a home. Deregulation holds great potential savings for drivers state wide.

Some critics of the newly deregulated system find it difficult to compare prices through the plethora of new auto insurance carriers. Adjusting to a new system may difficult for some, however it does not have to be difficult for you. MassDrive Direct Auto Insurance understands you have better things to do with your time than compare auto insurance quotes while understanding it is an important process. Here at MassDrive we quickly gather your basic information and compare auto insurance quotes for you!

No longer will you need to worry about comparing rates, coverages between quotes, or stress about discounts – MassDrive has your back. We compare quotes through various Massachusetts insurance carriers helping you find the best price and saving you time. One carriers may offer discounts another does not, in comparing your information through various carriers we help you get the most bang for your buck. And the best part? The quotes are completely free! Give MassDrive a call, one of our friendly representatives will compare your quotes saving you time and money.

Gas Prices drop again!

For the second week in a row, gas prices drop in Massachusetts! AAAof Southern New England reported monday that the price of self-serve, unleaded regular at Ocean State stations was $2.72 per gallon. This is a 3 cent drop from last weeks prices.

This may be the cause of the 8.2 percent price drop of oil in January. The first month-to-month decline since July and the biggest decrease since December 2008, Bloomberg News reported.

This is great news for Massachusetts drivers, so get out there and fill up while the prices are low!

You Don't Have to Settle, It's Time to Shop Around!

As you may have heard, recent studies showed that coverage costs did not decrease in Massachusetts after deregulation of the market. Although an increase in insurance carriers in Massachusetts has allowed for more options, many drivers are sticking with their current plans. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to settle for a plan you are unhappy with!

Here at MassDrive we understand that reading through multiple insurance policies is not the best way to pass time. That’s why we are dedicated to doing the work and helping you find the best insurance company, with the best coverage, at the best price, for all your needs.

Massachusetts Housing Market Recovering

A four year decline in the housing market came to a halt this past December. According to a new report by The Warner Group single-family home sales increased from 40,356 in 2008 to 41,583 home sales in 2009. Although the median purchase price of homes continued to drop 6.6 percent, the decline was not as steep as the 11 percent fall in 2008 and the 10.6 percent drop in 2007.

“The latter part of 2009 gave us some clear signs that the housing market is stabilizing and heading for a recovery, and while prices were still falling the percentage drop last year wasn’t as steep as it was in the previous two years. What’s more, December was the first month in more than two years that the monthly median home price climbed year-over-year. The improving economy and the home buyer tax credit definitely helped fuel home sales.”

-Timothy T. Warner Jr., CEO of The Warner Group

First time homeowners seem to be jumping at the opportunity to save up to $8,000 on new homes. A first time homeowner is defined as someone who has not owned a primary residence in the past three years. However it is important to recognize repeat homeowners may receive up to a $6,500 credit as well. To qualify for the federal tax credit as a repeat homeowner a person must have owned and lived in the same residence for a minimum of five consecutive years during the past eight years. For more information on the federal housing tax credit visit the official website at: www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com.

When purchasing a new home another key purchase, required by most mortgage companies, is homeowners insurance. With purchasing a new home come many payments, bills, and debt. A great way to save on homeowners insurance is to bundle it in a companion policy with your auto insurance. For a quick free quote bundling auto and homeowners insurance together give MassDrive a call.

Things to keep in mind while shopping around

While reviewing your insurance there are a few things you want to keep in mind. Make sure you know if there is going to be any changes from your old policy to your new one. You don’t want to lose coverage; the point of shopping around is to get you the best coverage while still getting you a better price. Are you receiving the proper discounts that match your specific situation? Many insurance companies offer discounts depending on a variety of factors. Some discounts are required by law and others are optional for insurance carriers. In addition, two carriers may offer the same discounts but the amount of that discount could vary from carrier to carrier.

At MassDrive you will not only find professionals in the insurance field that can answer all of your questions with your interests in mind. You will also find a variety of resources available to you as a Massachusetts auto insurance consumer. Our goal is to find every Massachusetts customer the right policy at a price the driver can afford. Our only focus is Massachusetts and because we’re Massachusetts drivers ourselves, we feel a responsibility to deliver results to you.

Review your auto insurance

After attention was brought to the lack of success of deregulation, massachusetts drivers are being reminded to review their auto insurance coverage. The whole purpose for deregulation of the auto insurance system in Massachusetts was to increase competition and lower the rates for consumers. Competition has increased and more carriers are now providing policies for Massachusetts but many people aren’t seeing the drop in rates. Attorney General Martha Coakley expressed her concern about drivers not receiving the discounted rates in a recent statement.

The report notes that most consumers haven’t shopped around and therefore, rates are not being driven down. It is up to us as Massachusetts residents to create stronger competition to drive these rates down so get out there and shop around!

About CPA Staff

Mike is in charge of the 'colors and shapes' of Next Generation Insurance Group as well as the front-end development of the site (like this page). A long time standing deck enthusiast, Mike does his best work up-right and rocking out, with the occasional riff of air guitar, to heavy metal bands. Mike attended Northern Kentucky University, is a founding member of Team Do Stuff and a skilled home brewer.

Tags:

Ready for a Quote?
Get A Quote