The Risks of Driving Without Insurance in Massachusetts

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In Massachusetts, driving without insurance is illegal and can result in some pretty serious punishments. The penalties for driving uninsured in the Old Bay State range from fees and fines to license and registration suspension, even sometimes to jail time. The legal penalties are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to driving uninsured, as there are several other consequences associated with the crime. 

Let’s take a look at what may happen to those who drive without sufficient car insurance coverage and how you can build your Massachusetts car insurance policy to make sure you’re abiding by the car insurance laws in the state.

The Risks of Driving Without Insurance in Massachusetts

Driving without car insurance in Massachusetts is illegal and can have severe legal and monetary consequences, as the two often overlap. Car insurance laws in the Old Bay State require all drivers to carry at least $20,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $40,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, $5,000 in property damage liability per accident (20/40/5 liability coverage), $20,000 in uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person, $40,000 in uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per accident (20/40 UMBI), and $8,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) per person per accident. Those who lease or finance their vehicles may be required to have collision and comprehensive coverages as a stipulation of their legally binding lending or leasing contract. 

Any policy that meets the state’s legal minimum requirements is considered adequate in the eyes of the law. Carrying a policy that meets the state’s minimum standard will help ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. While Massachusetts is a no-fault state, drivers must carry both no-fault coverage and at-fault coverage to protect themselves and other drivers. Suppose a policyholder with legally sufficient coverage is injured in an accident they cause. In that case, PIP will cover their medical expenses since the coverage protects the policyholder regardless of who’s at fault.

Drivers in the Old Bay State must carry liability coverage to protect other drivers if the policyholder causes an accident, and $8,000 in PIP isn’t enough to cover the medical expenses the victim incurs. Liability coverage will cover the victim’s expenses in an accident caused by the policyholder, assuming the policyholder has an active and adequate policy.

Those who fail to maintain an active policy with legally sufficient coverage put themselves at significant risk of legal consequences and financial ruin. While legal penalties may not be enough to steer some drivers away from the crime, the cost of legal defense fees, one’s own medical expenses, and an increase in insurance premiums for years to come should do it. 

While an insurance policy can be costly, with the average full coverage policy in the Old Bay State costing about $1,330 annually, it’s far easier to budget for an insurance premium than the expenses resulting from a catastrophic accident. 

Is Driving in Massachusetts Without Auto Insurance Illegal?

Driving without insurance in Massachusetts is illegal, as it’s considered a misdemeanor. Those who fail to abide by this law may face fees, fines, license or registration suspension, jail time, or any combination of these penalties. Uninsured drivers may face other consequences, like legal defense fees if there’s a lawsuit following an at-fault accident, an increase in insurance premiums for years to come, and filing for an SR-22.

Drivers who have had their licenses or registrations suspended due to driving uninsured often require SR-22 insurance upon reinstatement of their documents. SR-22 insurance isn’t a type of policy or coverage but rather a document filed by an insurer on behalf of a high-risk driver to certify with the state that they have an active and adequate car insurance policy. 

Those with an SR-22 on file or a history of driving uninsured often have a tough time finding a cheap policy in the state, as insurers often translate the high risk associated with an SR-22 into higher premiums. Thus, high-risk drivers may be unable to bind a policy with one of the state’s top insurers because their quoted premiums may cost double or triple the state’s average. 

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What’s the Penalty for Driving Without Insurance in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, driving without insurance is illegal and can yield punishments like fees, fines of up to $5,000, license and registration suspension, and even jail time. The severity of the punishment depends on the severity and frequency of the crime, but even first offenders could face jail time if the infraction is severe.

If a driver has a clean driving record and accidentally lets their insurance policy lapse for a few days, they will likely face less severe penalties than a driver who knowingly drives uninsured and causes an accident. 

More financial consequences are associated with driving uninsured than the fees and fines a driver may be served. On top of fines and fees, drivers who get behind the wheel without an adequate policy and cause an accident will be on the hook for all the victim’s expenses beyond what their insurance will cover, one’s own expenses, and any legal fees should the accident victim decide to sue for pain and suffering. Plus, those who cause accidents while uninsured will likely have to file an SR-22, raising their premiums to double or triple the average rate in the state for years to come.

Another financial consequence after an at-fault accident while driving uninsured may be vehicle impoundment or license revocation. If your license and registration are suspended or revoked, not only will you have to pay to reinstate them, but you will no longer have accessible means of transportation. For many, having access to a vehicle is crucial to how they earn and save money, as many drive their cars to and from work. Having unreliable transportation access may significantly impact how a driver makes and saves money. 

Budgeting for car insurance can be challenging and may mean giving up your weekly specialty latte, but it can be the difference between financial security and ruin. Setting aside room in your savings for an insurance premium is much easier than trying to save for the costs associated with a catastrophic accident while driving uninsured. 

What’s the Massachusetts Fine for Driving Without Insurance?

If you’re driving without insurance in Massachusetts in an accident, you may face fines of up to $5,000, depending on the severity and frequency of the crime. Those with a history of driving uninsured or at-fault accidents may face a heftier fine than someone who got into a fender bender with an insurance policy that expired two days prior. 

For a first offender, the typical fine is about $500, with an additional payment of $500 or the cost of a premium that meets the state’s minimum requirements, whichever is larger. For a second or subsequent offense, the fine can range anywhere from $500 to $5,000, again depending on the severity and frequency of the crime. 

How To Find Massachusetts Auto Insurance Quotes Online

If you’re interested in binding a policy that meets all the state’s minimum requirements so you can avoid the steep costs associated with driving uninsured, the best way to start your search is to get and compare quotes online. By getting and comparing quotes online, you can tailor your policy to meet your needs and budget.

Lucky for you, we take quotes very seriously. Here at Clovered, we have a free quoting tool you can use to view and analyze your unique quotes in minutes. If you prefer to speak with a professional, you can contact us at 833-255-4117 or, and a licensed agent will be happy to help you.

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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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