What is the Massachusetts Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP)?
The Massachusetts Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) was created to encourage the estimated 4.6 million licensed drivers in the Bay State to drive safely in order to avoid higher premiums. With this plan, motorists who are convicted of breaking certain traffic laws or being at-fault for an accident may receive a surcharge, which translates into higher coverage costs. Alternately, residents with clean driving records often see affordable coverage and fewer situations where rates are increased. There are multiple ways to receive a surcharge point in MA, and if a motorist develops a poor driving record they may be considered a high-risk driver. Fortunately, many residents in the non-standard market may still be able to find adequate coverage after shopping around and exploring a number of options.
In 2008 the MA Department of Public Safety recorded over 136,000 car crashes with a resident population of only roughly 6.5 million. To help reduce the number of accidents and traffic violations within the state, individuals who are convicted of certain offenses are typically given surcharges, and often pay more for Massachusetts car insurance as an incentive to drive safer. These surcharges may be given for:
- Being at-fault for an accident
- Convicted of or paying a fine for a traffic violation
- Being assigned to an alcohol education program
Individuals who are involved in automobile accidents in which they are more than 50 percent at-fault, or if their insurer pays more than $500 on the claim, may also receive a surcharge. Residents often have the opportunity to appeal these charges, but if a surcharge remains on an individual’s record it could have a negative impact on a driver’s premium.
When a motorist is issued a surcharge, their coverage provider is permitted to reasonably increase a policyholder’s premium. Under the SDIP an insurer can develop rules known as merit rating plan that determine how a surcharge will be imposed. The merit rating plans must meet the approval of the State Commissioner of Insurance before being implemented. After a motorist receives a surcharge, they may wish to find cheap auto insurance in Massachusetts from another insurer to cut coverage costs.
To begin a search for a less expensive insurer, residents are encouraged to go online and complete a quick quote comparison. Often these resources available over the Internet can provide dozens of quotes at once, allowing for efficient price comparisons. Often individuals in need of high risk car insurance from receiving too many surcharges can find more affordable policies by making extensive comparisons and researching the many different options that may be available.