Shopping for Auto Insurance
Now that each insurance company has its own set of prices, it is more important than ever that you shop carefully for auto insurance. Below are some tips for shopping for auto insurance now that Managed Competition has gone into effect.
As you may have heard, the Division of Insurance has created a website to help consumers shop for insurance. Please be aware that this site does not allow for accurate price comparisons for the majority of consumers. The prices you will be offered by insurers will most likely be significantly different than the prices you see on this website. You must contact an insurance company or agent directly in order to find out how much you will actually be charged.
Do Some Research
Talk to friends, neighbors, and co-workers about their experiences with various insurance companies. In addition, you can find out how many complaints organizations such as the Better Business Bureau and National Association of Insurance Commissioners have received about each insurer.
Obtain a Number of Quotes
Find out what prices and discounts your current insurance company is offering, but get actual quotes from as many other insurance companies as you can. While this may be time-consuming, it is often the only way to find out what prices, coverages, and benefits are actually available to you. You can obtain quotes directly from insurance companies that do not use agents by calling or visiting their websites. Other insurance companies only provide quotes through their agents.
In order to find an agent that represents the insurance company that you want a quote from, call the insurance company or visit its website. You can also search for agents by insurance company using the “Detailed Agent Search” feature of the Division of Insurance’s Agent Finder website .
You should be aware that although some agents can get quotes from many insurance companies, others can only get quotes from one or two insurance companies. For this reason, it is often a good idea to shop with more than one insurance agent.
Get Quotes in Writing
Make sure that any quote you receive includes a “coverage selections page” that shows the coverages, limits, and deductibles that you want. Read the coverage selections page carefully to ensure that everything is as you requested and that all information is correct. Immediately point out any mistakes to the insurance agent and/or insurance company and ask for written confirmation of any changes.
When comparing quotes, keep in mind that coverages, limits, deductibles, and discounts can have big effects on prices. A small difference in even one of these areas can make a bad quote look like a good one. Be aware that different insurers may not offer exactly the same overall benefits. This can make it somewhat difficult to compare quotes.
Ask About Discounts and Benefits
If you do not ask about discounts and benefits, you might not get them. Make sure that you understand how the discounts you are eligible to receive from each insurer will affect your premium, and whether those discounts are reflected in your quote.
Massachusetts Auto Insurance Plan (MAIP)
As of April 1, 2009, insurance companies are no longer required to voluntarily offer insurance to Massachusetts drivers. Keep in mind, however, that even if one insurance company does not want to insure you, another company still might offer you coverage, so make sure to explore your options.
After one insurance company has refused to insure you, you become eligible to apply for coverage through the Massachusetts Auto Insurance Plan, also known as the MAIP. In order to get coverage from the MAIP, you will have to go through an insurance agent. That insurance agent will have you fill out an application for the MAIP. The MAIP then will randomly assign you to an insurance company. The price you receive from the MAIP may or may not be higher than a price you could have received if you had continued to shop around.
Which Insurance Companies Sell Auto Insurance in Massachusetts?
Insurers that sell direct to consumers:
Insurers that sell through agents: