Consumers everywhere are feeling the squeeze as things become harder to afford, and insurance is turning out to be no different. According to a report by Insurfy, insurance premiums are set to increase by up to 16% in 2023, bringing the average yearly premium for car insurance to $1,900. Throughout 2022, auto insurance rates rose by 9%, and the upward trend shows no signs of slowing down.
If you’re a Massachusetts driver, this is discouraging news no matter where you are. But some cities are going to get harder than others when it comes to their yearly premiums. Let’s take a look at which cities will cost the least to insure your car in 2023 — and which cities will cost the most.
The Most (and Least) Expensive Cities for Car Insurance
So which city will get hit the hardest when it comes to auto insurance? Renata Balasco at The Zebra has some figures. The most expensive place in Massachusetts for car insurance is Roxbury, with Springfield close behind at $2,024 a year. The least expensive city is Northfield, with the next best place for cheap car insurance in Massachusetts is Cambridge at $1,565 a year.
Though insurance premiums can vary by state, city, or even street, the average motorist in Massachusetts pays $1,346 a year — which is 12% less than the national average. Of course, insurance premiums also vary by company, meaning you’ll likely get cheap Massachusetts car insurance from State Farm, which offers rates as low as $532 a year. This is just one reason why it’s smart to shop around and compare car insurance quotes (more on that in a bit).
What Influences Car Insurance Rates?
While most everyone knows that your driving record goes a long way toward determining how much you’ll pay for car insurance, there are a lot of other factors that play into it as well. Some of them are simply beyond your control as a motorist. In cities with denser traffic and high accident rates, or in cities prone to particular natural disasters, insurance premiums will naturally be higher. Population density also plays a role, as it creates more opportunities for accidents and violations — and with 92% of the state’s population living in urban areas, that means insurance is likely to be higher in most cities.
Another reason why car insurance rates are so high in Massachusetts is because state law requires motorists to have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance in addition to the minimum liability coverage.
The make, model, and year of your car matters a lot for a variety of reasons: older cars cost less to repair and replace, and certain models, especially when it comes to newer cars, can be a magnet for thieves or vandals. One thing that doesn’t generally make a difference is the color of your vehicle — contrary to popular belief, insurers do not charge more for red cars. They might charge more for custom paint jobs that are difficult or expensive to fix, but not for having a certain factory color. Also, while it’s common in most states to use credit rating as a factor in determining your auto insurance premiums, Massachusetts is one of the few states that’s banned this practice.
How You Can Lower Your Car Insurance Premiums
With Massachusetts auto insurance rates already high, and set to go higher still, what can you do to bring those premiums down? Fortunately, there are some time-honored strategies to lower your rates.
First and foremost, shop around and compare quotes. There are free online tools to help you accomplish this, and you could find yourself saving a bundle by switching companies. It might be tempting to stick with the insurer you’ve bought from for so many years, but if expenses are tight, it’s worth looking into.
Speaking of bundles: if you’re a homeowner, ask your insurer about bundling your auto and home insurance. Most insurers will offer a discount for this.
If you work in certain professions, you might be eligible for a discount. Many insurance companies provide discounts for policyholders working as:
● Health care workers
● First responders
● and more
Insurance companies also provide discounts for other things, such as age, taking a defensive driving course, having anti-theft or safety equipment installed on your vehicle, and more. Contact your insurer and see what might be available for you. If you don’t drive your car very much, look into switching to a usage-based model for your auto
insurance. This could qualify you for a low-mileage discount, which could shave a good chunk off your yearly premiums. Adjusting your coverage level is another way to bring those premiums down. If your vehicle is older and its market value has dropped significantly, you might consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage and go with liability-only.