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Tell me about Car Insurance [Update: Plates!]

GrundlestiltskinGrundlestiltskin Behind you!Registered User regular
edited June 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I need to register my car in Massachusetts. This is going to require changing my car insurance - I'm currently still on my parents' policy, so this would probably mean getting a completely new policy. However, I don't want to spend a lot of money. What's the minimum or cheapest insurance/type of coverage I can get without being completely hosed if I get into an accident (one in which I am not at fault)?

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    MrOlettaMrOletta Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Are you sure you're required to get a new insurance policy? That seems pretty odd to me. Insurance is insurance, and as long as you have the proof of insurance that shows you on the "Insured Drivers" section, you should be fine.

    MrOletta on
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    Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against Russian warships) Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    It might differ in a couple places, but you need to be insured by an agency in the same state as your car is registered in. I was no longer able to stay on my parents plan when I moved from Virginia to Maryland.

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    Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against Russian warships) Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Oh right, I forgot the advice bit. Speak to your parent's insurance agent and see what they can recommend you look for.

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    RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    You kind of just have to look at levels of coverage and see what you're comfortable with, and then shop around for the lowest premium.

    If you don't want to get hosed in an accident or otherwise, you'll need the following coverage:

    bodily injury: protects you if you hurt someone else
    property damage: protects you if you damage someone else's property
    uninsured motorist bodily injury and property damage: protects you if an uninsured person hits you
    medical expenses: covers your or your passengers' medical costs if you get in an accident
    comprehensive (other than collision): protects you from everything that might happen to your car except a collision
    collision: covers your car in an impact with some object
    optional but recommended: towing and rental car fees--usually pretty cheap and can help a lot if your car's out of commission for a while after an accident. You can leave towing off if you have AAA or whatever.

    The levels of coverage that insurance companies offer, and some of the categories, vary state to state. Collision is going to be the most expensive part unless you are driving an absolute shitheap. Everything else is going to vary based on your selected coverage. Choose what level of coverage you're comfortable with and then shop around, don't go to an insurance company and choose a low amount of coverage just to get your premium down. Having insurance at all is pointless if it's not realistically going to cover you in an accident.

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    GrundlestiltskinGrundlestiltskin Behind you!Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Oh right, I forgot the advice bit. Speak to your parent's insurance agent and see what they can recommend you look for.

    I looked into this a year ago but then it fell apart (I was rear ended and spent months dealing with all of that). I'm currently on my parents' plan with Liberty Mutual. Last time I looked into it, changing states would require going onto a completely separate policy of my own, which through them with all of this coverage they spouted out at me was kind of a lot of money.

    I'm just wondering if, since I have to go onto a new policy anyway, it's worth shopping around. And once I'm at that point, I just want to know how much coverage I actually need.

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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    All you need is liability. Liability doesn't cover you if you get into an accident and it's not your fault, in theory the other guys liability should. If the guy who hit you is running around without insurance (not unlikely), then unless you also have "uninsured motorist" protection or have collision (in this case you'd be filing against your own insurance to cover the damages) you're fucked.

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    A BearA Bear Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Looking at this from a slightly different angle, why do you need to register your car in Massachusetts instead of wherever it's currently registered? If its still your parent's home state and they are ok with keeping you on their policy, just make sure to visit once a year and keep the car updated.

    A Bear on
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    SideAffectsSideAffects Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Just so you know, I bought a nice '98 civic for my first car back in '07. My mom MADE ME get full coverage. I mean, she didn't twist my arm or anything, but my mother has had a lot of practice getting me to do things that I didn't want, so she won out. Anyways, I was so bitter with her over it. All that money, going to waste!

    Within 9 months we had a storm that dropped a tree limb as big around as a basketball on my car. Pretty much cleaved the thing in two from end to end, right down the middle. Full coverage saved my ass.

    SideAffects on
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    DragonPupDragonPup Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    20/40 liability only is the cheapest you can get in Massachusetts. Out of curiousity, how long have you been driving accident-free for? The big price breaks on insurance happen at 3 and 6 years. When I hit my 6 year mark, my comprehensive policy on my 07 Civic dropped from $1400 to $800.

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    "I was there, I was there, the day Horus slew the Emperor." -Cpt Garviel Loken

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    GrundlestiltskinGrundlestiltskin Behind you!Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    A Bear wrote: »
    Looking at this from a slightly different angle, why do you need to register your car in Massachusetts instead of wherever it's currently registered? If its still your parent's home state and they are ok with keeping you on their policy, just make sure to visit once a year and keep the car updated.

    This would be preferable to me, but apparently I can be heavily fined for being a MA resident and having my car registered in PA (with a PA driver's license.)

    DragonPup wrote: »
    20/40 liability only is the cheapest you can get in Massachusetts. Out of curiousity, how long have you been driving accident-free for? The big price breaks on insurance happen at 3 and 6 years. When I hit my 6 year mark, my comprehensive policy on my 07 Civic dropped from $1400 to $800.

    I was rear ended in September.

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    DragonPupDragonPup Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    DragonPup wrote: »
    20/40 liability only is the cheapest you can get in Massachusetts. Out of curiousity, how long have you been driving accident-free for? The big price breaks on insurance happen at 3 and 6 years. When I hit my 6 year mark, my comprehensive policy on my 07 Civic dropped from $1400 to $800.

    I was rear ended in September.

    To re-clarify, accidents that you are at fault for. I was also rear ended in September by a triple stereotype, but that did not affect my insurance at all since the other party admitted fault.

    DragonPup on
    "I was there, I was there, the day Horus slew the Emperor." -Cpt Garviel Loken

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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    A Bear wrote: »
    Looking at this from a slightly different angle, why do you need to register your car in Massachusetts instead of wherever it's currently registered? If its still your parent's home state and they are ok with keeping you on their policy, just make sure to visit once a year and keep the car updated.
    The only time you can do this is when your parents address is your permanent address. College students are really the only people who are eligible. Once you move, and your permanent address changes, especially if its another state, you're legally obligated to change your insurance. Most states require you to get a new license within 30 days of moving to said state also.

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    GrundlestiltskinGrundlestiltskin Behind you!Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Oh. Then I haven't been reported at fault for an accident in 11 years. Other people on my policy have though, however, including my mother who was recently found at fault in hitting a park car and also charged with a DUI for the incident.

    I suppose I did crash into a guard rail during a blizzard in 2003 or 2004, but no claim was filed.

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    DragonPupDragonPup Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Since you mom won't be on your new policy, that shouldn't affect it(I think...).

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    "I was there, I was there, the day Horus slew the Emperor." -Cpt Garviel Loken

    Currently painting: Slowly [flickr]
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    GrundlestiltskinGrundlestiltskin Behind you!Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Also, when I go into the RMV to get a MA license am I going to get bent over with fines if they somehow find out I've been living here since 2006?

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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I don't see why they would care; I doubt it'll come up.

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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    It only comes up if you get pulled over and they find out.

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    GrundlestiltskinGrundlestiltskin Behind you!Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    It only comes up if you get pulled over and they find out.

    Yeah incidentally I've been pulled over a couple times since I moved out here. Fortunately it's never come up - the last guy who pulled me over for rolling through a stop sign actually said something along the lines of "well since you're from out of state I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, but in this state you need to come to a complete stop at stop signs" before letting me go.

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    DragonPupDragonPup Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Also, when I go into the RMV to get a MA license am I going to get bent over with fines if they somehow find out I've been living here since 2006?

    I wouldn't mention the 2006 part. I guess you can just say you just moved to Boston and need to get your license converted and MA plates.

    DragonPup on
    "I was there, I was there, the day Horus slew the Emperor." -Cpt Garviel Loken

    Currently painting: Slowly [flickr]
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    GrundlestiltskinGrundlestiltskin Behind you!Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    So update - I've gotten everything in line. Got my insurance, went down to the RMV yesterday and got a new license and new registration. And new license plate...s? I got two license plates. One is apparently supposed to go on the front of my car. My car (a 2005 Audi A4) doesn't have a place for a plate in the front of my car. Am I expected to drill holes in my car to meet inspection requirements?


    Also, I just had my car inspected like 2 months ago. Do I have to get it reinspected for a MA sticker?

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    Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against Russian warships) Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    If it was inspected in another state, then you're probably going to need to get it done again. I did when I moved from VA to MD despite. Check the webpage or call to see if you can get a specific answer. If you have the inspection results from the last time, you they might accept that.

    Gabriel_Pitt on
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    RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Front and rear plates are required in MA. Maybe go to and Audi dealer and see how they mount the front plate? You'll get nailed for it sooner or later.

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    GrundlestiltskinGrundlestiltskin Behind you!Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    This is all just such a pain in the ass. I want to sell the car in August anyway, and little nickel and dime fees trying to get the thing kosher so I last that long are really starting to bug the hell out of me.

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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Hm, most front fenders will have an indention for the front plate, it's easier for the company to just make them all identical, even if a state doesn't require front plates. The holes, while not always drilled, should be evident by two smaller indentions.

    If not, there are brackets you can attach to the front grill of the car, that are basically a clamp, so you don't have to do any drilling.

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