Our MA independent insurance agency gets quite a few questions about at-fault accident surcharges and accident appeals.
Hopefully you will never get in an auto accident.
If you do, the insurance company will determine fault to decide which insurance company has to pay for damages.
The MA Division of Insurance has 19 Standard of Fault for determining fault in an accident:
|Collision with a Lawfully or Unlawfully Parked Vehicle
|Rear End Collision
|Out of Lane Collision
|Failure to Signal
|Failure to Proceed with Due Caution from a
Traffic Control Signal or Sign
|Collision on Wrong Side of Road
|Operating in the Wrong Direction
|Collision at an Uncontrolled Intersection
|Collision While in the Process of Backing Up
|Collision While Making a Left Turn or U-Turn Across the Travel Path of a Vehicle Traveling in the Same or Opposite Direction
|Leaving or Exiting from a Parked Position, Parking Lot, Alley or Driveway
|Opened or Opening Vehicle Door(s)
|Single Vehicle Collision
|Failure to Obey the Rules and Regulations for Driving
|Unattended Vehicle Collision
|Collision While Merging onto a Highway, or into a Rotary
|Non-Contact Operator Causing Collision
|Failure to Yield the Right of Way to Emergency Vehicles when Required by Law
|Collision at a “T” Intersection
Once fault has been determined, Massachusetts then issues an Accident Surcharge Notification.
Unlike the insurance companies, the state will take into consideration contributing factors in the accident. Things such as: road conditions (snow, ice, rain), weather, other driver negligence, vehicle malfunction etc.
In order to Appeal a Surcharge, you are supposed to file the appeal within 30 days of the surcharge notice date. The cost is $50 and appeal instructions are on the surcharge notice.
Massachusetts Appeal Board: 617-521-7478
Massachusetts Merit Rating Board: 617-351-4400