Car insurance premiums can vary depending on the purchase month

Joseph Murphy is the state insurance commissioner.
Joseph Murphy is the state insurance commissioner.

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Here’s another reason to watch out for winter in Massachusetts: higher car insurance prices.

A yearlong study by, an online insurance shopping firm, found that drivers can spend as much as 20 percent more if they purchase policies in March instead of in the summer. Prices jump in January and February, too.

“Most consumers just believe that the rate is the rate and it just sticks,” said Laura Adams, a senior analyst with “We were surprised by the amount of variability.”

In Massachusetts, the lowest prices were found from June to September. The average premium for a Massachusetts driver was $1,011 in 2011. So if consumers bought policies at the average cost in July, they could pay $200 more if they purchased them in March.

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