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Confused About How Your Auto Insurance Premiums Are Calculated?

Many consumers are often confused about how their auto insurance premiums are calculated after an at-fault accident or traffic violation.  In Massachusetts, the bad driver point system is referred to as “surchargeable points”, and is based on the state’s Safe Driver Insurance Program (SDIP).  The idea of the SDIP system is to charge bad drivers more insurance premium and to reward the safe drivers with lower insurance premium.  The more points you have, the higher your insurance premiums. 

The point system itself is simple in nature.  If you have an at-fault accident or commit traffic violations (occurring in Massachusetts or out-of-state), your driving record will accumulate “points” depending on the nature of the accident.  An “at-fault” accident is defined as “…more than 50% at fault and … involves a claim payment exceeding $500”.

Surchargeable Point Schedule:

  • Major Traffic Violation (such as a DUI): 5 points
  • Major at-fault accident: 4 points
  • Minor at-fault accident: 3 points
  • Minor traffic violation: 2 points 

The SDIP system also has built-in-discounts to reward drivers with consistently clean driving records.  Drivers who have at least 5 years of driving experience and no surchargeable accidents or traffic violations for the previous 3 years will receive the Excellent Driver Discount. 

It pays to have a clean driving record!  On average, a person with a clean driving record (no points) can expect to pay about $500 less than that same person with an at-fault accident or violation. 

By Mike Kennedy –