March 27, 2012

How Auto Insurance Coverage Will Change For Massachusetts Drivers

Drivers in East Coast states typically have trouble finding cheap car insurance policies and, prior to 2008, Massachusetts drivers had the toughest time. The state practiced a managed form of auto insurance coverage before that year. Whereas most states allowed insurance companies to set their own rates, the state of Massachusetts set rates at a statewide level. Insurance companies had to abide by state insurance rates in order to offer policies to Massachusetts drivers. This led to extremely high car insurance premiums for all drivers in the state, regardless of their driving records or vehicle choices.

Fortunately, Massachusetts drivers have benefited from insurance reforms in recent years. In 2008, the state made heavy changes, allowing insurance companies greater freedom in setting their rates. The deregulation effectively brought down the cost of auto insurance coverage in the state and led to more varied policies with a greater number of coverage options. Proponents of the 2008 reform insist that deregulation allowed the free market to force down rates, which were previously artificially raised by harsh penalties and strict state guidelines on insurers' quoting techniques. In 2012, Massachusetts probably will not make any significant changes that would reverse the effect of this legislation. The state might make minor changes to the way that the insurance commission checks providers' rates, but the new insurance system will stay in place, allowing for lower premiums for drivers in the state.

However, despite the heavy reforms, many Massachusetts drivers still complain about relatively high auto insurance bills. While deregulation has drastically decreased rates over the last four years, many drivers still overpay for their policies. In order to take advantage of the new competition among major auto insurance companies, drivers should regularly check rates online. Insurers figure premiums for drivers in very different ways, so drivers who have used the same insurance providers since 2008 can often find drastically reduced premiums with some simple research. Many drivers use online cost comparison websites, which offer a great way to find cheap car insurance in a matter of minutes. Most auto insurance comparison websites only require basic information such as a driver's zip code and, by sending this info to major insurance providers, the websites can generate several quotes at once.

Over the last several years, Massachusetts auto insurance rates dropped by over 12 percent. Other states saw an average rate decrease of only about one percent. To take advantage of their new low rates, drivers in the Bay State should re-evaluate their coverage options regularly, ask about insurance discounts and compare rates online on a regular basis, as this will keep premiums as low as possible for all Massachusetts drivers.