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Sometimes, it’s more convenient to find the answers to simple questions yourself. That’s why we’ve included on this page, answers to questions we get asked most often. To view the answers, click on the appropriate question(s) to the right.

We value your feedback. If you have questions about our agency, our insurance coverages or the products and services we offer, please let us know. We will get back to you promptly and, if appropriate, we will add your question to this page as a service to current and future customers. Submit your questions to:

508-697-6963 Phone

508-697-5809 Fax

info@estabrookchamberlain.com

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Auto FAQs

  1. How do I register a car in Massachusetts?
  2. Can a newly licensed driver transport any age passenger?
  3. How do I qualify for a Safe Driver Discount in Massachusetts?
  4. How is the Auto/Homeowners Discount applied?
  5. What is the difference between “Comprehensive” and “Collision” coverages for automobiles?
  6. When my child obtains a driver’s permit, must I list him or her on my auto policy?
  7. If you travel to Canada by car, how do you prove to border guards that you have the required auto insurance?
  8. How is family auto insurance coverage handled when students are away during the school year?
  9. Can socio-economic factors be used to underwrite auto policies under the new “managed competition” system?
  10. Under the state’s new junior operator driving rules, which affect drivers under age 18, what is the penalty for a first-time speeder?
  11. What are the requirements of the expanded Child Booster Seat law in Massachusetts?
  12. I understand there are advanced driver training courses available for teenage drivers. What do those courses cover?
  13. How are discounts applied to my auto policy premium?
  14. What are the basics of the new ATV law and regulations?



Q. How do I register a car in Massachusetts?

A. You need a title, a bill of sale, and a full description of the vehicle, and the vehicle’s current mileage. You also need to pay the insurance down payment, registration fees, and sales tax. Then you’re ready for the Registry; the process should go smoothly.

Q. Can a newly licensed driver transport any age passenger?

A. No. A newly licensed driver, according to Massachusetts law, cannot transport anyone under 18 years of age. (NOTE: Children driving with learner’s permits do not need to be added as listed operators on your insurance policy until they pass their licensing exam.)


Q. How do I qualify for a Safe Driver Discount in Massachusetts?

A. You can save money if you and any other drivers covered under your policy have not had an at fault accident or moving violation for the past 6 years.


Q. How is the Auto/Homeowners Discount applied?

A. If you have both your auto and your homeowners insurance with us, you may be eligible for a discount of up to 10% on your homeowners premium.


Q. What is the difference between “Comprehensive” and “Collision” coverages for automobiles?

A. “Comprehensive” covers all perils except collision. Examples: losses by theft, fire, windstorm, flood, vandalism, falling objects, earthquake, hail, glass breakage, and more. “Collision” covers only one peril – collision. But it is the one peril (don’t you love that word) that causes the most damage. That’s why it is more expensive.


Q. When my child obtains a driver’s permit, must I list him or her on my auto policy?

A. You don’t need to list your child as an operator of your car until he or she actually passes the driver’s exam and becomes a licensed driver. A child with a valid permit can operate your car accompanied by a licensed operator up until he or she becomes a licensed driver without being listed. If you have a son or daughter with a permit, please let us know. We have some useful information on young people and their impact on your auto insurance.


Q. If you travel to Canada by car, how do you prove to border guards that you have the required auto insurance?

A. You need to contact your auto insurance agent and ask for a Canadian insurance card. The card must be stamped and signed by your agent.


Q. How is family auto insurance coverage handled when students are away during the school year?

A. All household members need to be listed as operators of family vehicles. While students are away at school, they may be excluded as operators. A signed exclusion form needs to be filed. This saves premium dollars for the parents. But they must remember to call us and add back student operators during holiday breaks, spring break, summer, etc.


Q. Can socio-economic factors be used to underwrite auto policies under the new “managed competition” system?

A. The regulation bans the use in rating of sex, marital status, race, creed, national origin, religion, occupation, income, education, home ownership, and age as against public policy. The one exception: drivers age 65 and over will continue to receive a discount.

The Insurance Commissioner has set similar bans in the use of underwriting based on age, sex, race, occupation, marital status or principal place of garaging; nor should companies use education or home ownership in underwriting.


Q. Under the state’s junior operator driving rules, which affect drivers under age 18, what is the penalty for a first-time speeder?

A. 90-day license suspension. In addition, the junior operator must pay a $500 reinstatement fee, take an “attitudinal retraining course,” retake the Registry’s driving test, and pay the speeding ticket.


Q. What are the requirements of the expanded Child Booster Seat law in Massachusetts?

A. The law requires children to ride in either car seats or booster seats until they turn 8. There is a $25 fine for failure to comply. One exception: children at least 4 feet 9 inches tall are exempt. The purpose of a booster seat is to make sure that safety belts are properly positioned across the child’s waist and shoulder.


Q. I understand there are advanced driver training courses available for teenage drivers. What do those courses cover?

A. Typically, one-half day courses include practicing and learning how to do a panic stop, how to use ABS brakes, how to control a skid, and how to handle a highway emergency. They also deal with the effect of speed on control, the dangers of tailgating, and the dangers of distractions. Firms offering these courses have opened them up to senior drivers too.


Q. How are discounts applied to my auto policy premium?

A. They may be applied to all or part of your total premium depending on the type of credits. For example, Good Driver Experience credits are typically applied to the entire policy. But Passive Restraint Credits typically apply only to specified policy coverage premiums pertaining to bodily injury and liability hazards. This is because passive restraints have a direct impact on reducing the cost of bodily injury and liability claims in the event of accidents.

NOTE: Be sure to let us know if you or any drivers on your policy qualify for premium credits that require validation. These include: Good Student, Advance Driver Training, and Motor Club Credits. Make sure we get them at least 60 days prior to your policy’s renewal date.


Q. What are the basics of the ATV law and regulations?

A. The Massachusetts Legislature, responding to alarming rates of injury and death, passed a bill improving safety regulations for operators of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). The bill requires ATVs, off-road motorcycles and snowmobiles to be registered and all operators to wear helmets. The regulations also prohibit anyone under the age of 14 from operating an ATV unless it is for a sanctioned race supervised by adults over 18.