Wayne Texeira Marketing Director, CFMP, AINS, AIS, API
***UPDATE*** The amendments to the budget discussed in this post were passed are law as of July 1, 2015. As a result, the new threshold for Minor Accidents will be $1,001 and the threshold for Major Accidents will be $5,001.
We just learned via the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) that the Massachusetts Senate was successful in adding an amendment to its version of the 2016 State Budget that would increase the Property Damage Threshold for Minor and Major accidents. If the language survives the budget conference committee, the new threshold for Minor Accidents will be $1,001 and the threshold for Major Accidents will be $5,001. This could be great news for Mass drivers because these thresholds are what determines the number of surcharge points added to your driving record, which results in increases to your insurance premiums if you have an at-fault accident.
Currently, if you have an at-fault accident causing between $500 and $2,000 in damage to someone else's property, collision, limited collision, or bodily injury to others, it is considered a Minor Accident resulting in 3 surcharge points on your driving record. If the damages are $2,001 or more, it is considered a major accident resulting in a 4 point surcharge. If you've had an accident, you know that doesn't take much to exceed the current limits. Given the way that vehicles are built, even a minor fender bender could result in thousands of dollars of damage easily exceeding the current thresholds.
Murphy Insurance has long felt that the current thresholds have been too low. We are pleased to see this action and fully support this positive move to benefit consumers. The challenge now is to get this amendment passed and enacted into law.
The budget is now being finalized through the conference committee process, which will determine if this amendment remains part of the budget. To help ensure that the amendment survives the conference committee, you can voice your support by contacting members of the conference committee and urging them to approve the budget amendment increasing Auto Accident Property Damage Surcharge Thresholds. Members of the committee are:
Sen. Karen Spilka 617.722.1640
Rep. Brian Dempsey 617.722.2990
Sen. Sal DiDomenico 617.722.1650
Rep. Stephen Kulik 617.722.2380
Sen. Vinnie deMacedo 617.722.1330
Rep. Todd Smola 617.722.2100.
Amendment wording >