YOU ASK:

What is the Massachusetts Safe Driver Insurance Plan?

WE ANSWER:

The Massachusetts Safe Driver Insurance Plan is a state program aimed at encouraging motorists in Massachusetts to drive safely. It does so by requiring insurance companies to base auto insurance premiums on the applicants' driving records. The drivers with a clean driving history are given credit for this fact by being charged lower premiums, whereas drivers with violations and convictions get to pay more for car insurance.

How the Massachusetts Safe Driver Insurance Plan Works

The so-called Safe Driver Insurance Plan premium adjustment is applied by Mass insurers in the process of underwriting. It takes as its basis the individual driving history of the primary driver who applies for auto insurance, and that of all family members of the insured.

The Safe Driver Insurance Plan premium adjustment is the last and probably most significant step of determining the insured's premiums, and it is done after all other risk factors and discounts have been considered.

Whereas until recently insurance companies used the step-system to assess each applicant's risk and determine their premiums, as of January 1, 2006, a "point" system was introduced in the state of Massachusetts. Car insurance applicants are assessed for their driving by being charged points for any at-fault accidents, traffic violations, convictions of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, being behind the wheel on a suspended driving license committed in the three years prior to application.

Surcharge points increase your premiums and depend on the nature and severity of the incident. For example, you will get surcharge points if you have been found to be at least 50 percent at fault for a crash and if you have caused physical damage or injury of over $500. Remember that you can always appeal the convictions in court if you don't agree with them.

If you have a spotless driving history and have had no violations or accidents on the past three years, you will receive no surcharge points. If you have had no convictions in the past five years, your premiums are subject to a significant discount.

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