Mass_statehouse_eb1The Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents recently lobbied in support of Section 14 of the 2016 State Budget, which details a change relative to increasing the surcharge thresholds for Minor and Major Accidents.

This is a huge win for consumers. The MAIA, Deland, Gibson and insured customers alike were thrilled when this consumer-friendly change was not vetoed by Governor Baker when he signed the State Budget last Friday. This adds greater leeway for small accidents not to affect your SDIP or “points” that generate extra costs on your automobile insurance premium. Section 14 states that Accidents under $1000 are no longer surchargeable, that accidents between $1,001 to $4,999 are minor accidents, and accidents over $5,000 are major accidents (See the full text of Section 14 below).

Another consumer-friendly Section not vetoed by the governor was Section 74 (also below), which states that failure to have headlights on during inclement weather is no longer a surchargeable offense.

Auto Insurance At-Fault Accidents

SECTION 14. Subsection (b) of section 57A of said chapter 6C, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the first sentence the following 2 sentences:- For an at-fault accident claim, a minor accident shall be an accident for which the claim payment, exclusive of any deductible, exceeds $1,000 but is not more than $5,000 under: (i) property damage liability coverage; (ii) collision coverage; (iii) limited collision coverage; (iv) for accidents occurring on or after January 1, 2006, bodily injury liability coverage if there is neither a surchargeable property damage liability coverage claim nor a surchargeable collision coverage claim; or (v) as a result of an accident with a bodily injury liability coverage claim. For an at-fault accident claim, a major accident shall be an accident for which the claim payment, exclusive of any deductible, exceeds $5,000 under either (A): property damage liability coverage; (B) collision coverage; (C) limited collision coverage; (D) for accidents occurring on or after January 1, 2006, bodily injury liability coverage if there is neither a surchargeable property damage liability coverage claim nor a surchargeable collision coverage claim; or (E) as a result of an incident with a bodily injury liability coverage claim.

Lights on Vehicles

SECTION 74. Section 15 of chapter 85 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- A violation of this section shall not be deemed to be a conviction of a moving violation of the motor vehicle laws for the purpose of determining surcharges on motor vehicle insurance premiums pursuant to section 113B of chapter 175.