31 Milk Street * Room 1020 * Boston, MA 02109 * Tel: 617-542-8432 * Fax: 617-542-5307


The Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) is a program mandated by state law that encourages safe driving by rewarding drivers who do not cause accidents or receive traffic citations and by ensuring that high-risk drivers pay a greater share of insurance costs.

Under SDIP, your insurance premium (rate) is determined to a large extent by your driving record. If you are a safe driver and keep your driving record clean, your premium may go down. However, if you are convicted oicted of criminal or civil motor vehicle violations, or if you are found to be at fault in an accident, your insurance premium will increase.

SDIP applies to private passenger insurance only. The program works on a point system that the RMVís Merit Rating Board (MRB) administers. This point system uses your driving record to track certain motor vehicle incidents, called surchargeable incidents. A surchargeable incident is any event in which you are...

  • Convicted of, or pay a fine for, a motor vehicle violation.
  • Assigned to an alcohol education program.
  • Found to be more than 50 percent at fault for an accident and your insurance company makes a claim payment above a certain threshold.

For information on SDIP, call the Merit Rating Board at 617-351-4400 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

In addition to affecting your private passenger vehicle insurance, each surchargeable event counts toward possible license suspension.

You are considered to be more than 50 percent at fault in an accident if your insurance company:

  1. Finds you at fault according to 1 of the 19 At Fault Standards; and
  2. Has paid a claim of more than $500 for collision, limited collision claim, or damage to someone elseís property.

Under the SDIP, you collect surcharge points for traffic violations and at-fault accidents, and you earn a credit point for each incident-free year in the 6-year experience period. You will not incur any surcharge points for your first minor motor vehicle violation (such as speeding), but you will not earn a credit point for that year.

Drivers start at a neutral Step 15. For each surchargeable incident, points are added to your step, up to a maximum of Step 35. For each year that you avoid any surcharges, up to a maximum of 6 years, a credit point is subtracted from your step, down to a minimum of Step 9. The Merit Rating Board determines an operatorís SDIP step. The following lists surcharge points:

Minor Traffic Violation                              2 steps

Minor At-Fault Accident (claim payment $500Ė$ 2,000) 3 steps

Major At-Fault Accident (claim payment over $2,000)  4 steps

Major Traffic Violation                              5 steps

Here is how your insurance premium will be affected by each surcharge point (+) or incident-free year credit (-):

  • Compulsory bodily injury +7 percent

  • Personal injury protection +7 percent

  • Damage to otherís property +7 percent

  • Collision coverage +7 percent

For a brochure detailing insurance requirements and SDIP, call the Division of Insurance Consumer Service Unit at 617-521-7777.


Click Here and receive periodic email providing you with ways to save money on your insurance, insurance updates and insurance tips.

Terms and conditions of usage