Some states, like New Hampshire, do not require you to have car insurance. Other states, such as Massachusetts, have severe penalties for not having car insurance. Demographic, population density, voter choice and other factors can affect the legislation that determines these laws. Massachusetts has made it very clear that a driver without insurance is a liability to the state and other drivers around them. We have put together a summary of what happens when you drive without insurance in Massachusetts.
Because most states are lenient to first time offenders, the penalties are less intense than for repeat offenders. Depending on the circumstance, a driver will have to pay a $500 dollar fine, or pay a year’s worth of compulsory insurance. Compulsory insurance is simply insurance you are legally required to buy. Other fees include a late fee of $40 and filing fee of $25 if you choose to dispute the charge. If found guilty, the court may suspend your license for 60 days, which would result in a $500 license reinstatement fee. While a year in jail is unlikely to first time offenders, it is a possibility. Make sure you cooperate with law enforcement and show up to any legal proceedings following a ticket for driving without insurance.
A second offense comes with substantially harsher consequences. That $500 fine may be boosted as high as $5,000. Your filing fee and license reinstatement fee would remain the same, though you have less likelihood of being ruled innocent. This results in a higher chance you will lose your license for 60 days and have to pay the reinstatement fee. With a larger fine, there can be financial consequences that could land you in jail. Having proper legal and financial counsel will help protect you and your assets in times like these.
Understand What Insurance You Need
The state of Massachusetts has set specific minimum requirements. These include coverage for $20,000 for bodily injury per person, $40,000 bodily injury per accident $8,000 in personal injury protection and $5,000 in property damage insurance. The last requirement is a minimum of 20/40 of uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury insurance. These minimums are meant to protect both you and others from accidents. After all, you can’t put a price tag on someone’s life.
How To Prevent What Happens If You Drive Without Insurance In Massachusetts
It seems simple, but make sure you are properly insured. Setting up automatic withdrawal can prevent your insurance from unintentionally lapsing. You don’t want to find out your insurance was canceled when you call them from a road side accident. Having a good independent insurance agent is important as well. Paying bottom dollar for lack luster insurance can leave you high and dry when you actually need help, so don’t make decisions purely based on price. Finally, making sure you are protected in the event that something does happen is vital. A mistake shouldn’t result in a lifetime of trouble.
Contact Eagle Trust Insurance to review your insurance options and select coverage that is right for you while still meeting the minimum requirements set by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.