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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Massachusetts for 2020

Jan. 2, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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If you’re looking for cheap car insurance in Massachusetts, comparison shopping is key. Which insurance company has the best price will often vary depending on your situation.

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NerdWallet researched rates from the 14 largest auto insurance companies in the Bay State for several driver types.

Cheapest for good drivers in Massachusetts

For Massachusetts drivers with a clean driving history, the cheapest companies we found and their average rates are:

  1. Plymouth Rock: $859 per year.
  2. Safety Insurance: $927 per year.
  3. Geico: $945 per year.
  4. N&D Group: $963 per year.
  5. Quincy: $1,104 per year.

Drivers with no recent accidents or violations can get cheaper car insurance rates. For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record. In terms of driving history, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard “full coverage” insurance, including comprehensive and collision, along with state-required coverage. Prices shown include a good driver discount, when available from the insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage in Massachusetts

If a driver wants just a bare-bones policy, these are the cheapest companies and their average rates for minimum required coverage in Massachusetts, assuming a clean driving record:

  1. The Hanover: $305 per year.
  2. Plymouth Rock: $322 per year.
  3. N&D Group: $413 per year.
  4. Safety Insurance: $417 per year.
  5. MetLife: $425 per year.
We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers (earning them a discount if the insurer offers one) who have only the minimum mandatory insurance in their state. Such light coverage isn't typically recommended, since it might not cover all the bills resulting from a car accident, but it's better than nothing — especially if you can't afford much more. If you're looking for the cheapest possible insurance you can get, though, you'll still want to get quotes from at least three auto insurers.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

A Massachusetts driver who recently caused an accident may want to consider these companies, which returned the cheapest average rates in this situation:

  1. N&D Group: $1,191 per year.
  2. Plymouth Rock: $1,285 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,512 per year.
  4. Arbella: $1,598 per year.
  5. Quincy: $1,732 per year.
After a relatively minor crash, some auto insurers will charge a lot more than others for coverage. To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and one recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation. If you fall into this category, be sure to shop for new insurance rates just after the three-year and five-year anniversaries of your infraction.

Cheapest insurance after a DUI in Massachusetts

For drivers with a recent DUI on their record, the cheapest insurers and their average rates in Massachusetts are:

  1. Plymouth Rock: $1,341 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,621 per year.
  3. The Hanover: $1,817 per year.
  4. Quincy: $2,014 per year.
  5. N&D Group: $2,110 per year.
A conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, generally results in higher auto insurance premiums than before. NerdWallet analyzed rates for 40-year-old drivers and standard “full coverage” car insurance with a recent DUI conviction to see which companies were cheapest. Rates can vary by hundreds between carriers after a DUI, and some penalize for longer than others, so it’s important to shop around for the best price right after you see a price hike and each year after that.

Cheapest insurance after a ticket in Massachusetts

After a speeding ticket, a Massachusetts driver’s cheapest options and their average rates are:

  1. Geico: $1,055 per year.
  2. N&D Group: $1,191 per year.
  3. Plymouth Rock: $1,243 per year.
  4. Arbella: $1,293 per year.
  5. Quincy: $1,313 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket will result in higher car insurance rates from most companies for three to five years. To see who has the cheapest rates, we calculated average car insurance rates for 40-year-old drivers with “full coverage” insurance and a recent ticket for speeding 16 mph over the limit. Though these larger companies were the cheapest we found on average, others may be cheaper for you, so be sure to get at least three quotes before deciding on a carrier.

Cheapest for couples and families in Massachusetts

In addition to singles, NerdWallet analyzed rates for families of two and three drivers and found that the cheapest options aren’t always the same. Each insurance company considers factors like age and driving experience differently, so after a big life change — including marriage, moving, or adding a teen driver — be sure to shop for insurance quotes to make certain you’re getting the best rate you can.

Cheapest for a married couple in Massachusetts

For a husband and wife with clean driving records, both 50 years old, the cheapest insurers and their average rates in Massachusetts are:

  1. Plymouth Rock: $1,344 per year.
  2. Safety Insurance: $1,555 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,736 per year.
  4. N&D Group: $1,742 per year.
  5. The Hanover: $1,983 per year.
Couples who live together can save on auto insurance by combining policies, whether they are married or not, because they can earn multi-car and multi-driver discounts. Once they tie the knot, rates can dip further, but not because of discounts — insurers see married people as less risky and so charge them lower rates. Our hypothetical 50-year-old couple’s clean driving record also earns them both a good driver discount.

Cheapest for families with a teen in Massachusetts

For a 50-year-old couple plus an 18-year-old driver, these are the cheapest companies and average rates we found in Massachusetts:

  1. Plymouth Rock: $2,674 per year.
  2. The Hanover: $3,421 per year.
  3. Safety Insurance: $3,810 per year.
  4. Geico: $3,824 per year.
  5. N&D Group: $4,053 per year.
Taking that same couple and adding a teen with two years’ driving experience is sure to cause a big jump in rates. Since different insurers tend to see a teen’s inexperience in different ways, we analyzed rates to see which companies had the cheapest car insurance for teens. These rates are averaged for 50-year-old couples with male and female 18-year-old drivers across the state.

Cheapest for young drivers in Massachusetts

Finding cheap car insurance isn’t always easy for people in their 20s, who typically pay higher rates than more experienced drivers. That’s why we also analyzed rates for 25-year-old drivers in Massachusetts to see which companies are cheapest for young drivers in a variety of circumstances.

Cheapest full coverage for young good drivers

For a young driver who needs full coverage in Massachusetts, these are the cheapest companies and their average rates, assuming a clean driving record:

  1. Safety Insurance: $1,044 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,047 per year.
  3. Plymouth Rock: $1,066 per year.
  4. N&D Group: $1,068 per year.
  5. Arbella: $1,212 per year.
Drivers in their 20s can have a hard time finding cheap car insurance, and that's even truer when they need full coverage. The rates above are averages for 25-year-old male and female drivers all over the state with comprehensive and collision coverages, which are often required for drivers with active auto loans or leases. These rates reflect a good driver discount, but no others. Young drivers, like all drivers, should check several quotes to find the cheapest for the coverage levels they need.

Cheapest minimum coverage for young good drivers

For Massachusetts’ minimum required coverage, the cheapest insurers and average rates for a 25-year-old driver with a clean driving history are:

  1. The Hanover: $392 per year.
  2. Plymouth Rock: $399 per year.
  3. N&D Group: $461 per year.
  4. Safety Insurance: $473 per year.
  5. Amica: $489 per year.

Since young people often have fewer assets to protect with liability insurance, they can usually get away with lower coverage limits. For an age group with relatively high insurance rates on average, that’s good news, keeping rates as low as possible. For this price set, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers living across the state who have clean driving records and bare-bones insurance coverage.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a crash

Young drivers in Massachusetts with a recent at-fault wreck on their record may want to look at these companies, which showed the cheapest average rates for minimum coverage:

  1. N&D Group: $573 per year.
  2. Plymouth Rock: $585 per year.
  3. The Hanover: $664 per year.
  4. Arbella: $703 per year.
  5. Geico: $875 per year.

To get prices for this group, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers across the state with a recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Since car insurance is often pricier after a crash, and especially so for young drivers, we assumed minimum required insurance in the state to contain costs for our hypothetical driver. If you’ve caused a crash, no matter your age, be sure to check auto insurance quotes just after the third and fifth anniversaries of your incident, when insurers often adjust rates downward.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a DUI

For a 25-year-old driver in Massachusetts with a recent on-record DUI, the cheapest insurers and their average rates for minimum coverage are:

  1. The Hanover: $518 per year.
  2. Plymouth Rock: $587 per year.
  3. Geico: $924 per year.
  4. Arbella: $989 per year.
  5. N&D Group: $996 per year.

Young drivers with a recent DUI on their records will need to be diligent to find the lowest car insurance rates they can get — it’s likely that many companies’ rates will be quite expensive. But spending the time to shop around for quotes can help you find the lowest. For this analysis, we averaged rates for male and female 25-year-old drivers with a recent on-record DUI. They had minimum required car insurance, which helps keep rates down.

Cheapest for minimum coverage and a ticket

For a young driver with a recent speeding ticket, companies with the cheapest average rates for minimum coverage in Massachusetts are:

  1. Plymouth Rock: $534 per year.
  2. Arbella: $547 per year.
  3. N&D Group: $573 per year.
  4. Safety Insurance: $587 per year.
  5. Amica: $608 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket is never fun, and neither is the higher car insurance bill you may receive months later. At that point it's time to shop around for better rates, and it wouldn't hurt to repeat on your third and fifth ticket anniversaries, when insurers may adjust rates downward. We analyzed rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with a recent speeding violation for going 16 mph over the speed limit to see prices for this group.

Cheap for military families

Cheap auto insurance for drivers with a military connection is often available through USAA, which offers policies exclusively for active service members, veterans and their families. We don’t rank USAA alongside other companies because its policies aren’t available to the general public, but it was among the three cheapest options in Massachusetts for 11 of the 12 driver categories above.

Recap: Cheapest car insurance in Massachusetts

  • Good drivers: Plymouth Rock
  • Minimum coverage: The Hanover
  • After an at-fault crash: N&D Group
  • After a DUI: Plymouth Rock
  • After a speeding ticket: Geico
  • Married couples: Plymouth Rock
  • Families with a teen: Plymouth Rock
  • Young good drivers: Safety Insurance
  • Minimum coverage for young good drivers: The Hanover
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a crash: N&D Group
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a DUI: The Hanover
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a ticket: Plymouth Rock

» MORE: Compare car insurance

Minimum coverage requirements in Massachusetts

Bay State drivers are required to carry liability insurance, uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage and personal injury protection, or PIP, in at least the following amounts:

  • $20,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $40,000 bodily injury liability per crash.
  • $5,000 property damage liability per crash.
  • $20,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person.
  • $40,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per crash.
  • $8,000 PIP.

Check out NerdWallet’s guide to minimum car insurance requirements by state to learn how the key pieces of your Massachusetts auto policy work and how to select coverage limits for your situation.

For more help finding cheap coverage in Massachusetts, use NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool.

Car insurance for high-risk drivers

If you’re unable to buy car insurance on the voluntary market due to a spotty driving record or other factors, an insurance agent can submit an application for you to the Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan. This is the system for providing insurance to risky drivers. All car insurers in Massachusetts must take a portion of the state’s high-risk drivers.

METHODOLOGY

For our “good driver” profile, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers in the state for 40-year-old men and women in all ZIP codes with 12,000 annual miles driven. The policy includes:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.

If required, minimum additional coverages were added. Our “young driver” had all the same characteristics, but average rates were for 25-year-old men and women. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.
  • For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.
  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation.

We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE for all single drivers. Couples in our analyses were 50-year-old men and women with clean driving histories, averaged across all ZIP codes with the same policy outlined above. To see rates for families with a teen, we added an 18-year-old licensed two years ago, averaging rates for male and female teens. For couples and families we added a 2016 Nissan Rogue S to create a two-car household. These are rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.