Massachusetts Uninsured Motorist Coverage Requirements

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While Massachusetts has significantly fewer uninsured drivers than the national average, about 3% compared to the average 12%, the state still mandates all drivers to carry a facet of uninsured motorist coverage or UM. UM protects law-abiding motorists against those who forgo coverage, as it will help policyholders cover their medical expenses should they be injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.

Let’s take a look at what type of uninsured motorist coverage is required on every Massachusetts auto insurance policy, where underinsured motorist coverage comes in, and why states choose to mandate this coverage.

Is Massachusetts Uninsured Motorist Coverage Required?

A driver who doesn’t have uninsured motorist coverage (UM) is considered an uninsured motorist in Massachusetts, as the coverage is required in the state. While drivers are required to have some form of UM, the laws differ in the Old Bay State from many others.

All car insurance policies in Massachusetts legally must have $20,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $40,000 in bodily injury liability per accident, $5,000 in property damage liability per accident (40/20/5 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, or PIP. Those who finance or lease their vehicles may be legally required to have collision and comprehensive coverages on their auto insurance policies. 

Those who drive without all the necessary insurance coverage are considered uninsured in the Old Bay State and may face legal penalties like fines, fees, license and registration suspension, or even jail time, depending on the severity and frequency of the offense. Additionally, those caught driving without sufficient coverage may need to file for an SR-22 form when reinstating their license or registration, significantly increasing one’s premiums for years to come. 

Since Massachusetts is a no-fault state, not a tort state, drivers depend on themselves for adequate coverage. In the event of an accident, a driver will first default to their PIP coverage to cover their medical expenses until they reach their policy limit. Then, if their costs exceed their limit, they will use the at-fault driver’s liability coverage to cover the remainder of their expenses. However, if the at-fault driver is uninsured, the victim would have to use their UM coverage up to their limit to cover their costs. 

If a policyholder’s expenses exceed the amount they’re covered, the uninsured motorist is on the hook for the balance. That’s not to mention they’re responsible for their expenses, too. If an uninsured driver can’t pay for the victim’s expenses out of pocket, the victim may sue the uninsured driver. 

What’s the Massachusetts Uninsured Motorist Statute of Limitations?

According to Massachusetts insurance laws, drivers have three years from the accident date for tort action (suing each other), three years from the date of the accident to file a claim with their insurer, and six years from the date of the accident to sue their insurer for providing insufficient compensation after filing a UM claim. 

It’s always in your best interest to file a claim as soon as possible after an accident, as the claim filing process can take a while, and it’s more convenient to receive your benefits right away. 

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What’s the Massachusetts Uninsured Motorist Law?

In Massachusetts, underinsured motorist coverage (UIM)  isn’t required, but uninsured motorist coverage is. Specifically, all drivers must have at least 20/40 UMBI coverage or uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. This specific coverage will kick in for a policyholder if they’re injured in an accident with a driver who lacks sufficient coverage.

While most states tend to include uninsured motorist property damage coverage (UMPD) in UM coverage, the Old Bay State separates the two. In fact, many states also lump UM coverage and UIM coverage together, but again, the Old Bay State doesn’t. Drivers with full coverage policies may carry optional UMPD and UIM, among other optional coverages like medical payments coverage (MedPay), collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage. However, drivers are only legally required to have a policy that meets the state’s minimum requirements. 

While the cheapest policy in the state may only meet the legal minimums, that may not always be the most protective policy. While it’s true that a full coverage policy in the Old Bay State costs, on average, about $1,330 annually and a minimum coverage one only about $665 annually, a full coverage policy offers much more protection in the policyholder’s interest. Plus, many of the top insurers in the state offer full coverage policies with lower-than-average base rates and plenty of opportunities for discounts, so you can get excellent coverage at a rate that won’t break the bank.

Why Does Massachusetts Require Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

The Massachusetts uninsured motorist statute mandates all drivers in the state to have a minimum of 20/40 UMBI coverage for a few reasons. Typically, states will require UM coverage if there’s an exceptionally high number of uninsured motorists on the road, if the state has a higher-than-average population, or if the state has cities with high population density. While the Old Bay State is average in terms of population and significantly lower than average in terms of uninsured drivers, Boston is one of America’s largest cities. 

Mandating UM coverage helps states with a high number of accidents caused by uninsured drivers to help mitigate the strain that puts on the legal system. Since drivers are required to carry some UM coverage, the number of lawsuits against uninsured drivers is reduced since many drivers can pay for the total of their medical expenses using their UM coverage. 

Finding a Massachusetts Auto Insurance Quote

If you’re searching for a policy in the Old Bay State that meets or exceeds the required UMBI limit, the best way to start your search is to get and compare quotes. Getting and comparing quotes is your one-stop shop for finding the best policy for your needs at the lowest possible price.

Lucky for you, quotes are our specialty. Here at Clovered, we have a free quoting tool you can use to access your unique quotes in minutes. If you prefer to chat with someone about your quotes, feel free to contact one of our licensed agents at 833-255-4117 or

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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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