Don’t Let Your MA Inspection Sticker Lapse

Don't Let Your MA Inspection Sticker Lapse

The cruelest of all surcharge points, from a Massachusetts auto insurance perspective, is the one for an ”expired inspection sticker” citation. Don’t let your MA inspection sticker lapse.

In Massachusetts, a ticket for an expired vehicle inspection sticker is the equivalent, in auto insurance citation points, of a moving violation.

According to the MA Division of Insurance, surcharge points are incurred if you:

  • cause an at-fault accident
  • are convicted of or pay a fine for a traffic law violation
  • are assigned to an alcohol education program

An expired inspection sticker is considered “pay(ing) a fine for a traffic law violation.”

A $40 ticket results increased insurance costs for 6 years! If you have/ had a perfect driving record, that can amount to about a 20% increase (!!) the first three years, diminishing the following three.

So here’s your warning:
  • Check your windshield and Don’t let  your MA inspection sticker lapse!

MA Inspection Station locator link: Click Here.

Massachusetts Auto Insurance Quotes

Massachusetts Auto Insurance Quotes

When shopping for Massachusetts auto insurance quotes, remember:

  • All quotes are not created equal.

Have your existing Coverage Selections Page in front of you. Make sure you are getting an “apples to apples” MA auto insurance quote comparison.

In this humble, MA independent insurance agent’s opinion, the most important coverage on the MA auto policy is your Part 5, Optional Bodily Injury to Others coverage. This is, essentially, your law-suit coverage.

We recommend you carry, at least, limits of $100,000 per person/ $300,000 per accident limits. We also recommend you match your Parts 3 & 12 (protects you & occupants from Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage).

  • Get quotes for improved liability limits.

If you carry liability limits of less than $100,000 per person/ $300,000 per accident (Parts 3, 5 & 12 on the MA auto insurance policy), have your insurance agent quote you improved coverage. You might be surprised how affordable better limits are. Limits of $250,000 per person/ $500,000 per accident are available and we recommend you:

  • Consider Personal Liability Umbrella coverage.

Personal Liability Umbrella coverage “sits-over” your auto and home liability limits. Coverage limits are from $1,000,000 – $5,000,000. Companies require underlying auto insurance limits of $250,000 per person/ $500,000 per accident.

  •   Does your auto insurance coverage include “accident forgiveness” and “disappearing deductible?”

When getting Massachusetts Auto Insurance Quotes check to see if their quote includes  the valuable “accident forgiveness” and “disappearing deductible” features. Make sure your coverage includes these endorsements. Note: most MA insurance companies will offer these endorsements if you are an experienced driver (6+ years) with an excellent driving record (in MA: step “99” or “98” drivers).

  • Have you packaged your MA auto insurance with your home, condominium, or apartment insurance?

If not, make certain your MA insurance agent packages your auto with your home insurance company. It is the only way to ensure you are getting the best premiums. If you have packaged your products, and you are considering moving your auto only to another insurer: beware! You will, most likely, lose the large account discount on your home insurance.  When shopping for your Massachusetts Auto Insurance Quotes, shop your auto and home insurance at the same time!.

  • Call or click for your free, no-obligation MA auto insurance quote.

MA Auto Insurance Surcharge Appeal

MA Auto Insurance Surcharge Appeal

We’ve reported before and believe it’s worth talking about some more: MA Auto Insurance Surcharge Appeal.

Have you been found “at-fault” in a Massachusetts accident?

Have you received a Massachusetts Surcharge Notice?

If so, this means your insurance company paid out over $500 and have determined you to be more than 50% at-fault.

If you believe you were less than 50% at-fault, MassAutoQuote believes you should appeal the surcharge.

When determining fault in an accident, unlike the insurance companies, the Board of Appeals takes into consideration contributing factors; such as: road condition (icy, wet, snow-covered), visibility, erratic driving, etc.

The cost to appeal the surcharge is $50 and the Massachusetts Board of Appeal tells us it is taking about 8 months before your receive your hearing date.

You can appeal a surcharge either: in person, by written statement, or by selecting someone to appear on your behalf.

Hearings are scheduled in:  Boston, Brockton, Peabody, Plymouth, Somerville, Springfield, Waltham, or Worcester.

Mass.gov Board of Appeal Contact information

http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/consumer/insurance/auto-insurance/appeal-license-revocation/board-of-appeal-contacts.html

Board of Appeal
Division of Insurance
1000 Washington St, Suite 810
Boston, MA 02118-6200
Phone (617) 521-7478
Fax (617) 521-7772
Email: BOA Mailbox


Merit Rating Board
P.O. Box 55889
Boston, MA 02205-5889
Phone: (617) 351-4400

Massachusetts Junior Operator Law

Massachusetts Junior Operator Law

Massachusetts Junior Operator Law.

Operating a motor vehicle is serious business and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a strict Junior Operator Law for new drivers.

As a refresher course:

Any motor vehicle operator or motorcyclist between the ages of 16 1/2 and 18 is considered a Junior Operator. The Junior Operator Law has several requirements and restrictions that significantly affect the operation of a motor vehicle by a person who has a Junior Operator’s License (JOL). The basic purpose of the law is to provide new drivers supervised opportunities in which to develop good driving skills, while keeping those drivers free of the possible distractions caused by friends under age 18 who are present while the drivers are behind the wheel.

Following, from the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles Driver’s Manual, we offer Massachusetts Junior Operator License Restrictions:

  • You may not operate a motor vehicle within the first six months after receiving your JOL while any person under age 18 is in the vehicle (other than you or an immediate family member), unless you are accompanied by a person who is at least 21 years old, has at least one year of driving experience, holds a valid driver’s license form Massachusetts or another state and is occupying a seat beside you.

General Rule: The passenger restriction that applies to the Junior Operator (Under age 18) is lifted once the Junior Operator completes the six-month period or you reach age 18, whichever occurs first.

The six-month passenger restriction period will stop running, temporarily, during any suspension. When your JOL is reinstated, you will still have to complete the remainder of the six-month restriction period that existed at the beginning of the suspension period, unless you have already turned 18.

  • As the holder of a Junior Operator License (JOL), you may not operate a motor vehicle between 12:30 a.m and 5:00 a.m. unless you are accompanied by one of your parents or your legal guardian. If you are found operating a motor vehicle in violation of this restriction, you may be charged with operating a motor vehicle without being licensed. This is a criminal violation.
  • If you violate the passenger restriction or the night restriction, you will be subject to a license suspension of 60 days for a first offense, 180 days for a second offense, and one year for subsequent offenses. For a second or subsequent offense, you will also be required to complete a Driver Attitudinal Retraining course. The law requires the Registrar to impose this suspension in addition to any other penalty, fine, suspension, revocation, or requirement that may be imposed in connection with a violation committed at the time you were violating the passenger or night restriction.
  • You may not operate a motor vehicle that requires a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
  • You will be suspended for one year if you are under 18 when you have committed certain driving offenses and alcohol or drugs were involved (180 days if age 18 to 21), in addition to any penalty assessed by a court or other law.
  • You will be ineligible for a full license until you have completed the period of suspension imposed while operating with a JOL and you reach age 18.
  • You will face additional suspension periods of one year for a first drag racing offense and three years for a subsequent offense, you will be suspended for one year.

Call or click MassAutoQuote if you’d like a free, no-obligation, Massachusetts Auto Insurance quote. You’ll be glad you did.

Geico vs. Insurance Agent

Geico vs. Insurance Agent? Take the Agent.

Geico vs. Insurance Agent. Be careful you don’t click too soon.

Geico has funny commercials, a cute lizard, and they can, sometimes, have good rates.

From my independent, Massachusetts insurance agent perspective, however, that’s were the funny, cute, and good stuff ends.

We have a long time client that was hit head on by a vehicle insured with Geico.

The Geico vehicle was at-fault, allegedly skidding on black ice (our insured thinks the person was texting).

Geico appraised the vehicle (a 2005 Honda Accord LX with 141,000 miles) and deemed it to be a total loss.

The N.A.D.A. values for her vehicle are: $8,050 (retail) and $5,650 (trade).

GEICO offered her: $4,555 as settlement. Take it or leave it.

We had our client’s insurance carrier appraise the vehicle and they, in turn, offered her the full retail value: $8,050 (+ $503.12 … 6.25% sales tax).

Geico vs. Insurance Agent: $4,555 vs $8,050.

We recommended our client accept her company’s offer and let GEICO know she has decided to go first party through her own insurance company.

As I hung up the phone with our client, I thanked her for insuring with us.

Her response was: “Always.”

Having an independent agent as your advocate, whether deciding on coverage that’s right for you, or at claim time, can really make a difference.

That’s my biased, independent Massachusetts agent position.

Call or click us today for your free, no obligation Massachusetts auto insurance quote.

You will be glad you did.

MassAutoQuote will save you Benjamins

MassAutoQuote will save you benjamins.

MassAutoQuote will save you Benjamins.

We utilize the Massachusetts Independent Insurance Agent to get you the best rates and coverage.

The Independent Insurance Agent shops coverage with numerous companies and takes advantage of available discount programs.

The Independent Insurance Agent will advise and advocate.

MassAutoQuote will save you Benjamins.

Independent Agent Added Value

Unlike the Liberty Mutuals and The Amicas, we write insurance with many different companies. We represent our clients, as opposed to representing the companies that we place business with. We spend the time to find out which companies are the best fit for our clients. Some companies have more of an appetite for new drivers, some more of an appetite for the home and auto “account business.”

We are here for our customers whenever they have a claim problem or a billing question. We also offer free Registry of Motor Vehicles service.

MassAutoQuote will save you Benjamins!

We are Professional Insurance Advisors that have the best interest of our customers in mind. We offer multiple lines of insurance and as our customers lives change we are here to assist with all their insurance needs.

Your Independent Insurance Agent should offer a lifetime of insurance products and services:

Parents put their newly licensed child on their auto policy, the child buys his first car, he moves out of the house and gets an apartment, he opens a business, buys an engagement ring, gets married, buys a home, has a child, buys life insurance, puchases a personal liability umbrella policy, gets rich, buys a vacation property, buys the ’65 Mustang Shelby GT350, and retires.

MassAutoQuote through your local, Independent Agent will save you Benjamins.

Term Life Insurance is for the living

Term Life Insurance is for the living.

Life insurance isn’t for the person that dies, term life insurance is for the living.

term life insurance  -life insurance that pays a benefit in the event of the death of the insured during a specified term.

Simple. Term Life Insurance.

MassQuotes compares term life insurance rates at no cost from top-rated companies in seconds.

Term life insurance offers the greatest coverage for the lowest premium and can be a great solution for financial responsibilities such as: family protection, consumer debt, dependent care, education, funeral costs and mortgages.

MassQuotes will help you figure out the amount of coverage that’s right for you at a price you can afford. Simple. Term Life Insurance.

What to do if you get in an Auto Accident

What to do if you get in an auto accident

Getting in an auto accident is a very scary thing. We have some suggestions on what to do if you get in an auto accident.

What to Do if you get in an Auto Accident:

  • Stop.
  • Be Courteous.
  • Stay Calm.
  • Your interest will be served best if you are courteous and engage in no controversy at the scene of the accident.
  • If there is significant damage to any of the vehicles or any potential injuries call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • Get the names of the owners and drivers involved.
  • Get license numbers, telephone numbers, and registration numbers.
  • Get the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of witnesses.
  • Express no opinion as to who was at fault.
  • Give no information except for as required by the authorities.
  • Do not sign any statements unless required by authorities.
  • For prompt claims call your Massachusetts Insurance Agent.
  • If you don’t have a Massachusetts Agent: good luck and call us for a quote on your renewal!

For more information about MassAutoQuote’s services (we do it all), please give us a call or a click!

Additional safe driving article: http://johnsonandrohan.com/safe-driving-tips/

Independent Agent Added Value

Independent Agent Added Value

For the past thirty years, or so, Massachusetts insurance consumers and Professional, Massachusetts Independent Agents have been pushed around by the insurance industry. Enjoying “state set” auto insurance rates, Massachusetts bloated to the fourth highest auto insurance rates in the country and withered to only 19 auto insurance carriers. It’s up to insurance professionals to  show: Independent Agent Added Value.

As of April 1, 2008 Massachusetts moved to a “managed competition” system. This move has been good for most consumers with a statewide decrease in auto rates of almost 8%. The rate casualties seem to be those with 10 or more points on their license and new drivers.

With all the industry changes and as a small business owner, I’ve found myself working harder and longer. My wife and three babies wonder who this tie-wearing, slightly stressed out, stranger is.  I continue to ask myself, as an Independent Insurance Agency: “Do we add value?” The emphatic answer: YES.

Independent Agent Added Value

Unlike the Liberty Mutuals and The Amicas, we write insurance with many different companies. We represent our clients, as opposed to representing the companies that we place business with. We spend the time to find out which companies are the best fit for our clients. Some companies have more of an appetite for new drivers, some more of an appetite for the home and auto “account business.”

We are here for our customers whenever they have a claim problem or a billing question. We also offer free Registry of Motor Vehicles service.

We are Professional Insurance Advisors that have the best interest of our customers in mind. We offer multiple lines of insurance and as our customers lives change we are here to assist with all their insurance needs.

Your Independent Insurance Agent should offer a lifetime of insurance products and services:

Parents put their newly licensed child on their auto policy, the child buys his first car, he moves out of the house and gets an apartment, he opens a business, buys an engagement ring, gets married, buys a home, has a child, buys life insurance, puchases a personal liability umbrella policy, gets rich, buys a vacation property, buys the ’65 Mustang Shelby GT350, and retires.

Your Independent Agent Added Value: We are here to help every step of the way.

Massachusetts Crash Report

Massachusetts Crash Report

You’ve been in an accident. Thankfully, you’re okay. You got the other driver’s information but now wonder: should I fill out a Massachusetts Crash Report?

When Must a Massachusetts Crash Report be filed?

MGL Chapter 90, Section 26 requires a person who was operating a motor vehicle involved in a crash in which (i) any person was killed or (ii) injured or (iii) in which there was damage in excess of $1,000 to any one vehicle or other property, to complete and file a Crash Operator Report with the Registrar within five (5) days after such crash (unless the person is physically incapable of doing so due to incapacity). The person completing the report must also send a copy of the report to the police department having jurisdiction on the way where the crash occurred. If the operator is incapacitated but is not the vehicle’s owner, the owner is required to file the crash report within the five (5) days based on his/her knowledge and information obtained about the crash. The Registrar may require the owner or operator to supplement the report and he/she can revoke or suspend the license of any person violating any provision of this legal requirement. A police department is required to accept a report filed by an owner or operator whose vehicle has been damaged in a crash in which another person unlawfully left the scene even if damage to the vehicle does not exceed $1,000.

You can print a copy here: http://www.massrmv.com/rmv/forms/21278.pdf

Once you have completed report send copies to:

  1. local or state police department in the city or town where crash occurred
  2. your independent, MA insurance agent or insurance company
  3. a copy to the RMV, Crash Records, PO Box 55889, Boston, MA 02205-5889

Where is the best place to find Massachusetts auto insurance? We recommend getting a quote from us at: MassAutoQuote.