Auto Frequently Asked Questions
1) Is automobile insurance required in Massachusetts?
Yes. Automobile insurance is required for automobiles registered in Massachusetts. MA auto policies have 12 standard coverage parts. Parts 1-4 of MA Automobile policies are mandatory, while parts 5-12 are optional, although highly recommended and required by most insurance companies. Automobile Insurance is not mandatory in NH.
2) What is the benefit of getting MA Automobile insurance through an independent agent as opposed to buying it online?
There is an old saying: You get what you pay for. While listening to commercials and buying auto insurance online might sound like a good idea, there can be several drawbacks. Local independent insurance agents, like Gallant Insurance and L.F. Robbins, offer the assurance of highly personalized service, the ease of efficient & fast claims service, and the peace of mind that accompanies trusting that you are properly insured. Picking your own price might sound great, but can also result in buying coverage that leaves huge liability exposure. Our rates are rarely beaten. We will even handle RMV processes for you! We are a short drive or a phone call away and there is always a familiar face on the other end of the phone. Having an insurance agent you can trust is priceless, especially when an accident occurs. To us, you are not another number.
3) If I use my vehicle for business purposes do I need a different type of policy?
Yes. Personal Automobile Policies are designed for personal use. Any vehicle that is used regularly in business pursuits must be covered by a Commercial Automobile Policy.
4) When do I add newly licensed operator to my Automobile Policy?
Once your son/daughter is issued their driver’s license they need to be added as drivers on your policy immediately. They do not have to be listed as drivers while they have a learner’s permit. Contact us and we can add them as drivers on your policy right away. We can also have prospective quotes done quickly with the newly added driver and remarket your policy to make sure you are still getting the best rate.
5) Who should be listed as drivers on my MA Automobile Policy?
Any household member with a driver’s license must be included on your policy. In addition, all occasional drivers must also be listed. An occasional driver is someone who operates the vehicle on a regular basis but is not a member of the household.
6) How do accidents & citations affect my MA Automobile insurance policy?
Every MA driver is assigned a classification based on their SDIP (Safe Driver Insurance Program) points. This classification is a major rating tool when figuring insurance rates. The more accidents or citations you have, the higher your SDIP will be. Higher SDIP points can result in higher premiums and non-renewals. Conversely, drivers with clean driving records can experience lower rates and more discounts.
7) Can married individuals have separate auto policies?
Yes. Married individuals can have separate MA Automobile policies. However, each must be listed driver on both policies, even if they are deferred. In some cases, when one driver has higher SDIP (Safe Driver Insurance Program) points, having separate policies can be beneficial in terms of premium savings.
8) Should I adjust my coverage limits when I have inexperienced operators as listed drivers?
Yes. Although being young doesn’t mean you are a poor driver, statistics prove that most accidents involve young or inexperienced drivers. We recommend a minimum liability limit of 100/300 no matter the age of the drivers on the policy. Accidents can result in liability claims, especially if there is property damage or injured persons. Increasing the limits of liability on parts 3, 5 & 12 is always recommended, especially when there is a higher risk.
9) Is having AAA or a roadside assistance program necessary?
No. MA auto insurance does not require any roadside assistance membership. MA Auto policies offer built in Towing & Labor and Rental Expense coverage options for an additional premium. For a small annual premium you can have protection against these expenses (up to the selected coverage limit). Some of our companies offer discounts for AAA or other roadside assistance programs.
10) Do I need to alert my auto insurance agent when I move?
Yes. If you move, contact us with your new address. Auto rates correspond to the place of garaging listed on the policy. Also, if you got into an accident and the incorrect address is listed, coverage may be denied by the company. You must also contact the RMV to update your driver’s license and car registration. You can change your address at www.massdot.state.ma.us/rmv/ or contact us and we can do it for you.
11) Why do insurance companies care about the odometer reading on my vehicle?
Since auto insurance in Massachusetts is now run under Managed Competition, the odometer reading can have an effect on your auto insurance rates. This information is acquired through your annual safety inspections. Depending on your annual mileage, you might be eligible for annual mileage discounts.