Massachusetts At-fault Accident Surcharge Appeal

MA Auto Accident Surcharge Appeal

We’ve reported on it before and believe it’s worth talking about some more:

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

Have you received the 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

what to do if in an auto accident

Lynnfield, MA – January 9, 2015 MassAutoQuote Web Log –

Did you know that if you are involved in a minor fender bender and leave the scene of the accident without contacting the police, you may be breaking the law? …

What to do if in a MA auto accident

Lynnfield, MA – January 9, 2015 MassAutoQuote Web Log –

Did you know that if you are involved in a minor fender bender and leave the scene of the accident without contacting the police, you may be breaking the law?

Knowing what to do if you are involved in a car accident will help you to remain calm. Knowing what is expected can help make a stressful and unpleasant situation more bearable and help you avoid unnecessary liability, time and expense.

1. Call the police. If you are involved in an auto accident, either you or someone who is with you needs to call 9-1-1 immediately. Even if you have not sustained injuries or property damage that you are aware of, you must still wait for the police to arrive so that you can report the accident.

2. Do not talk about the incident to anyone. Speak only to the responding police officer. And call your insurance agent right away.

3. Be polite, even if you are really upset. When people get in car accidents, they are often more reactive than normal. Don’t start blaming the other driver. And if the other driver is rude to you, get in your car, lock the door, and wait for the police to come.

If there is a question about who was at fault in your accident, being overly emotional may potentially bias the reporting police officer against you to the point that he or she could give the other driver the benefit of the doubt.

4. Get all contact information from all drivers:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Phone number and email
  • Insurance company’s name (and phone number if possible)
  • Insurance policy number

5. Be respectful to the police officer completing the accident report. You don’t need to go into great detail about what happened. It is probably better not to, because you may not be thinking straight and these reports are very hard to change after the fact. They will, however, be used as evidence by the insurance companies. Be cooperative and calm.

6. Take photographs of both vehicles and the scene of the accident. If one or both cars were totaled and you have no camera or cell phone, you can find out from the reporting officer where the cars are going to be towed and go to the lot later and take photographs of both the inside and outside of the cars. Pictures can help either prove damage or disprove damage.

7. Call your insurance agent or insurance company and report the accident as soon as possible with detailed specifics. You will need to tell your insurance company the following:

  • How the accident happened
  • Time and location of accident
  • Motor vehicles in the accident – cars, trucks, bikes, etc. Include the make and model of each car involved
  • Contact information for those in the accident
  • Injuries sustained in the accident
  • Witness contact information
  • Police report number, police jurisdiction in which the accident occurred; your insurance company will need the police report number to investigate any claim

8. See a physician immediately or as soon as possible after the accident. Even if you believe you have only a few bruises, it is important to document all injuries, no matter how minor.

If you have sustained serious injuries, documenting the injuries, including taking photographs of the injuries, can play a significant role in any insurance settlement.

The above information will help you streamline what can be a complicated, scary and confusing process.

We Are Here for You Before, During and a Car Accident

www.MassAutoQuote.com’s Independent Massachusetts Insurance Agents are with you every step of the way. Our Agents will make sure you have the proper auto insurance and help you through the claims process should you be involved in an accident.

To learn more about what to do after a car accident, please feel free to call us at: 781-246-8699.

Do You Have Accident Forgiveness?

By the time it’s all over, you’ll have paid out: $3,840 in additional insurance premiums.

If your coverage includes accident forgiveness, guess what?

No additional premiums.

Take a moment, look at your policy or call your agent.

Do you have Accident Forgiveness?

How could you not forgive this?

It might be the best financial question you ask yourself all day.

Do you have Accident Forgiveness?

Some insurance companies make you buy it, some make you earn it .

Most will only include Accident Forgiveness if you have a perfect, or near-perfect driving record.

Some will only apply it if you’ve been with them for a certain amount of time.

If you have an at-fault accident, the insurance company will not apply the surcharge your policy.

In insurance terms, I’ve read somewhere that average, annual Massachusetts auto insurance premium is $1,600.

Let’s say you are a 99 driver and you get in an at-fault accident.

If total damage is less than $500 paid out (almost never), there is no surcharge.

If damage totals less than $2,000 (minor accident), at-fault driver is surcharged: 3 points.

If damage is more than $2,000 (major accident), at-fault driver is surcharged: 4 points.

The MA SDIP driver rating system is, sort of, difficult to figure out.

The best driver in the state is a 99 (no at-fault accidents, no violations 6+ years). Credit step.

The next best is a 98 (no at-faults, no violations 5+ years). Credit step.

Then you’re a:  0 driver (note: you’re also a 0 driver when you first get you’re licensed.) Neutral driving record.

Points get added starting with 0, for at-fault accidents and violations.

So, for the example above, if you’re in an accident and more than $2,000 is paid out (usually), you go from a 99 to a 4.

Each step is, somewhere, around 8% in annual auto insurance surcharge, so you go from a 99 to 98 to 0 to a 1-2-3- 4. The realized premium increase will be around 48% more at renewal time (+$768) … for the next 3 years! Then it will go down by, maybe, 8% to + $640 in surcharges years 4 and 5. After year 5 you will go back to a 0 driver and you’ll only be paying about +$256 in surcharge.

Approximate surcharge totals:

Year 1: +$768

Year 2: +$768

Year 3: +$768

Year 4: +$640

Year 5: +$640

Year 6: +$256

By the time it’s all over, you’ll have paid out: $3,840 in additional insurance premiums.

If your coverage included Accident Forgiveness, guess what?

No additional premiums.

Take a moment, look at your policy or call your agent.

Do you have Accident Forgiveness?