Tips to make sure you are getting the best auto rates

Tips to make sure you are getting the best auto rates

Tips to make sure you are getting the best auto rates:

It’s important to shop around and look for every discount available.

The first place to start when looking for the best auto premium is by packaging your auto insurance with the same company as your home insurance.

If you don’t own a home or condominium, it might be time to purchase apartment insurance coverage. If not for the only reason of taking advantage of an auto insurer’s “account discount.”

Other discounts to consider:

  • Did you drive less than 10,000 miles over the past 12 months?
  • Are you a good driver? Have you had any at-fault accidents or moving violations over the past 6 years?
  • Do you pay your bills in full?
  • Do you receive your bills and documents by e-mail?
  • Did you recently get married? Do you have the same company as your spouse?
  • Are any of your kids good students? Do they have a “B” or better average?
  • Are you a college graduate?



It’s that time of year. 

Plows are breaking out in every community.  Our phone rings and our client on the other end has questions about plowing and plates or plowing and insurance or both.

Here’s the skinny: Massachusetts law is clear on the point that if you plow for hire, you need Commercial plates.

Personal passenger plates are acceptable only if you plow your own driveway, or if say you plow a relatives driveway but do not get paid.  Even still, a police office might write a ticket to a vehicle plowing with Private passenger plates- such a ticket would need to be appealed.

Insurance and plowing is a little more complicated.

Insurance carriers have different appetites for vehicles used for plowing.  We work with some that will not write plows of any kind, others that will write only vehicles used for residential plowing and others that allow plowing without restriction.

Please call if you plow and we can review your specific situation to ensure you have the right coverage and plates.

What is Substitute Transportation on MA Auto Policy?

What is Substitute Transportation on MA Auto Policy?

Massachusetts Insurance Substitute Transportation Coverage

You drive to and from work every day. You take your kids to the ballgame. You go shopping. Have you ever wondered if your car were in an accident, how you would be able to survive without a car? We have the answer …

What is Substitute Transportation on MA Auto Policy?

You drive to and from work every day. You take your kids to the ballgame. You go shopping. Have you ever wondered if your car were in an accident, how you would be able to survive without a car? We have the answer. It’s Substitute Transportation Coverage to the rescue. The good thing about car insurance is that you can buy a number of endorsements for additional protections and rental car reimbursement is one of them.

What is Substitute Transportation on MA Auto Policy?

Substitute Transportation Coverage is Part 10 on the Massachusetts Personal Auto Policy. Substitute Transportation Coverage provides financial protection for you if you need a vehicle when your car is damaged in an accident covered by your Comprehensive or Collision coverage. Some policies cover car rentals when your vehicle undergoes mechanical repairs. Rental reimbursement is generally available only with policies that include collision and comprehensive coverage.

How Do I Know If I Purchased the Coverage on My Massachusetts Car Insurance Policy?

The first several pages of your insurance policy are called the declarations pages. These pages contain the declarations of the coverages you have purchased for each of your vehicles and include the specific description of your vehicle(s). Look for a line item listed as “Rental” or “Extended Transportation,” with a dollar amount listed to the side of it. You have purchased this insurance only if there is a dollar coverage amount next to it and there is a policy premium amount listed for the insured vehicle. You may purchase the coverage for one vehicle but not for another, at your option.

How Substitute Transportation Coverage Works

The optional rider offsets the daily cost of a rental vehicle for a specific time period and up to the specific daily limit you purchased. You can generally purchase limits of $15/day $450 total (costs about $14 annually) and $30/day $900 total (costs about $54 annually). The first number indicates the daily maximum coverage and the second is the maximum coverage for 30 days. For example, if you purchase 30/900, the policy would pay up to $30 per day for up to a maximum of 30 days or $900, whichever comes first.

Most insurance carriers have pre-arranged agreements with several car rental agencies that may include direct bill and pre-negotiated rates. Remember, if you exceed your policy limits, you are responsible for the difference. You should select a rental rate based on the type of car you need. If you have a family SUV, you should select a daily rental rate for a comparable vehicle.

How Do I Know When I Am Covered?

The time to find out if you have this coverage is BEFORE an accident. So call your independent agent. If you purchased the coverage, you are insured while the vehicle is in the shop being repaired, up to your coverage limits. If your vehicle is not drivable, you may be able to get a rental vehicle before your vehicle is being repaired, but always check with your agent first. If your vehicle is stolen, call the insurance company or your agent immediately after calling the police to report the car stolen since most have a clause in the policy that does not cover a rental vehicle for the first 48 hours after the reported loss. If your vehicle is totaled you will have a limited time frame in which to replace it and that may be less than the maximum that could be paid out under this coverage.

What is Substitute Transportation on MA Auto Policy? Can Help!

As your online independent insurance agent, MassAutoQuote can help you select the appropriate Substitute Transportation Coverage limit for you. Contact us when you are purchasing your auto insurance and we can help you find the right insurance company.

Insuring my teen driver

Insuring my teen driver

Ah yes, your teen is finally behind the wheel, which allows you to hang up your hat as the resident chauffeur. But in addition to that new found sense of freedom for both parent and teen, comes a new pinch in the pocketbook. Ouch. Insuring my teen driver.

It’s true, parents of teen drivers typically incur an increase in their car insurance premiums, but we have some tips to help offset the cost of having a young driver on your auto insurance policy.

Insuring my teen driver-

One factor that can affect your rate significantly is whether your child will have their own car. There is a substantial savings in having a new teen driver share the family vehicle rather than giving them a car of their own. In addition to having one less vehicle to carry on your policy, sharing a car means they will spend less time driving because of limited access to a vehicle.

Should you choose to get your teen their own vehicle, the type of car you select can affect your premiums considerably. Your independent insurance agent can help you determine which models cost less to insure, but considering these factors may help you narrow down your choices:

  • Drive a used car. While a brand new car may seem the safest choice (if cost isn’t an issue), it is often the more expensive route when it comes to car insurance. If you do not need to insure the value of the vehicle (ie- no collision and no comprehensive coverage), you and your teen driver will save – most likely- over $1,000 annually.
  • Safety rankings count. Whether you are considering new or used, it is a good idea to check the safety ratings. Having your teen at the wheel of a safe car might affect your premium as well as your peace of mind.

The Lemon Law

The Lemon Law

Have you been sold a lemon of a vehicle? The Lemon Law is here to help!

Many people ask us about the Massachusetts Lemon Law.

To qualify for the MA Lemon Aid Law, your vehicle must fail an official Massachusetts safety and emissions inspection within 7 days of purchase.

Next, you must get a written estimate for the cost for the inspection-related repairs. If the repair estimate is for more than 10% of the purchase price of the vehicle, you can get a full refund from the seller (private party or dealer).

To qualify for The Lemon Law and get a refund you must return the vehicle to the seller within 14 days of purchase with a signed statement by the inspector of why the vehicle failed, a copy of the estimate and a letter telling the seller that you want to cancel the sale.

For more information, visit the Massachusetts Consumer Affairs website at  or call (617) 727-7780.

At fault accident: standards of fault

at fault accident: standards of fault

When determining fault in a Massachusetts auto accident, MA insurance companies use the following Standards of Fault:

  • Collision with a lawfully or an 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 in the process of backing up
  • Collision while making a left turn or a U-turn across the travel path of a vehicle travelling in the same or opposite direction
  • leaving or exiting from a parked position, a parking lot, an alley, or a 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
  • Noncontact operator causing collision
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles when required by law
  • Collision at a “T” intersection(you entered from side road)

For For more information regarding MA automobile insurance, call the Massachusetts Division of Insurance Consumer Hotline at: 617-521-7777 or visit their website: For more information regarding your driving record, call the Massachusetts Merit Rating Board’s Customer Service Section at: 617-351-4400 or visit their website at:

For a competitive, Massachusetts Auto Insurance quote, please call or click us today.

Advanced Driver Training Discounts

Advanced Driver Training Discounts

The number one killer of teens is automobile accidents.

MassAutoQuote recommends In Control Advanced Driver Training.

Many companies offer an Advanced Driver Training discount, one company in particular (Safety Insurance) supplements the cost of the class. Instead of paying the standard rate of $299, Safety Insurance clients pay only $75.

In addition, clients receive a 5% policy discount on their auto insurance (Safe Roads Alliance). A “policy” discount can be huge because it applies to the entire policy and not just the vehicle the driver is rated on. So, in other words, if you have 3 vehicles on the policy all the vehicles receive the discount.

In Control is a non-profit organization filed as a 501(c)(3) and offers the nation’s first state certified crash prevention training to drivers of all ages. This closed course, hands-on education was adapted from existing law enforcement training in the United States as well as European instruction that led to a societal shift in attitudes toward driving in many countries.  

In Control has trained nearly 25,000 students and receives endless praise from graduates, parents, schools, police departments, insurance companies, legislators and community groups all over New England.   Most graduates enjoy insurance discounts and the peace of mind knowing that they have been trained for emergency situations.  Third party research has found a 70% reduction in crashes for new driver graduates of our training and similar results for experienced drivers trained through our commercial programs.

While focused on training New England drivers of all ages, In Control has traveled the United States providing training, consulting and products to keep people safe from the most dangerous thing we do.

Call, click, or stop by to find out more about Advanced Driver Training and other Massachusetts auto insurance discount programs.

What is a Disappearing Deductible?

What is a disappearing deductible?

What is a disappearing deductible?

A disappearing collision deductible discount is not a magic trick. It can be a way for you to save money on your car insurance premium, if you qualify. Essentially, the vanishing deductible is an incentive that rewards “safe” drivers by reducing the amount of their deductible, or out-of-pocket expenses if they do file a claim.

Insurance companies know that safe drivers have fewer car accidents and get fewer speeding tickets. Safety conscious car drivers tend to follow the rules of the road. They make fewer insurance claims. This can save insurance companies a significant amount of money every year. Insurance companies like to have safe drivers as policyholders for just this reason.

Vanishing Deductible Saves Safe Drivers Money on Deductible

Some big insurers offer “safe” drivers a special incentive, called the vanishing deductible discount. While each insurance company’s specific safe driver program varies, the programs generally subtract some of the cost of the deductible for each year a driver qualifies as a safe driver. Auto insurance companies also tend to reward driver loyalty.

It is important to realize that your insurance company does not take this safe driver deductible discount off the cost of your car insurance premium. Rather, this money is money saved out-of-pocket on the amount of your deductible if you have a car accident and file a claim.

How Does The Vanishing Deductible Work?

Let’s say that you have an insurance premium that includes a $1000 deductible. This means that in the event of a car accident in which there is $10,000 worth of damage to your auto, you will have to pay the first $1000 out-of-pocket. Your insurance provider will then cover the remaining cost of repair.

Typically, if you are in a vanishing deductible discount program, each year that you do not file a car accident claim, your insurer will drop your deductible by $100. If you went for ten years without an accident, depending on the maximum vanishing deductible credit your insurance company provides, you could, theoretically wind up with a zero deductible.

What Makes a Safe Driver?

Each insurance provider has different criteria for qualifying as a safe driver. The most important factors that insurers may consider include your driving history, history of traffic violations, car accidents, and other factors. Even if you have a less than stellar driver’s record, it may still pay to ask your insurance agent if you qualify or how you can qualify in the future.

Do You Qualify for the Vanishing Deductible Discount?

To learn whether your insurance coverage includes the disappearing deductible discount, give us a call or fax or e-mail us a copy of your Massachusetts Auto Insurance Coverage Page.

Get in touch with an agent who will take the time you need to understand your options, such as explaining: what is a disappearing deductible? Call or click

Moving to Massachusetts

Moving to Massachusetts

Well, it’s settled. You’re moving to Massachusetts!

Let us be one of the first to welcome you.

Massachusetts is a great State. From our beaches, to our mountains, to our cities, to our institutions, to our storied history: we’ve got it all.

How can I get my vehicle registered and insured?

We can help.

Step 1 – Find your auto insurance policy.

Find coverage and premium you’re comfortable with. We will shop numerous companies for you.

MassAutoQuote has been giving out free, no-obligation, online MA auto insurance quotes since 1999 (that’s longer than Geico has been giving out quotes here).

By getting a MA auto insurance quote from us, you utilize the shopping power of the Massachusetts independent insurance agent.

Step 2 – Get your vehicle registered.

In Massachusetts insurance and registration go “hand-in-hand.”

You can’t have one without the other.

Once you have found the auto insurance coverage and premium you are comfortable with, will put together a Registry of Motor Vehicles Form 1 with an insurance stamp.

Note: Massachusetts is a “Title state,” in order to get new MA plates you have to turn in your prior, out-of-state title, and get a new MA title.

Your MA driving record is determined by things such as:  years licensed, at-fault accidents, violations, citations, and suspensions.

(Remember:  You must obtain annual vehicle inspection sticker within seven (7) days of your vehicle’s registration date.)

So, although moving to Massachusetts is a big move, we’ll find you the best best auto insurance and help you get your vehicle registered.

Moving to Massachusetts? Call or click us to get your free, no-obligation Massachusetts Auto Insurance Quote.



Do I Need Commercial Plates?

Do I Need Commercial Plates?

If I put lettering on my Massachusetts private passenger auto, do I need commercial plates?

Great question.

Here’s the long answer:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation defines commercial vehicles (requiring commercial plates) as:


This includes:  Any vehicle which has a vehicle weight of more than 6,000 pounds unless it is a sport utility vehicle, passenger van, pickup truck or cargo van meeting the definition of a private passenger vehicle.

  • Any vehicle which as five or more wheels i.e.; a dually
  • Any pickup truck or cargo van, owned by a partnership, trust or corporation unless the vehicle meets the definition of a private passenger vehicle.
  • Any pickup truck or cargo van if on the bed , roof or sides of the vehicle tools, equipment, supplies and materials are transported to or from a job site (personal projects without compensation are not considered a job site).
  • A vehicle which has business lettering, markings and/or advertisements on it.
  • A vehicle used for hire to plow.
  • A vehicle used for hire to transport or store goods or merchandise (unless the vehicle is owned by an individual, the maximum carrying capacity is 1,000 pounds or less and is only used on a part-time basis).
  • A vehicle used to transport or store goods or merchandise intended for sale in the operator’s business (unless the vehicle is owned by an individual, the maximum carrying capacity is 1,000 pounds or less and is only used on a part-time basis).

So,  according to the MA Department of Transportation, if the vehicle has business lettering, markings +/or advertisements, then the vehicle should have commercial plates.