According to a state study, auto insurance rates dropped 8.2 percent from April 2008 to April 2009, compared with a 5.2 percent decline from 2006 to 2007. The state allowed insurance companies to start setting their own rates on April 1, 2008, under what officials called a “managed competition’’ plan. Previous to that, auto insurance had been highly regulated.
Direct writers are preparing for a battle with each other – and agents – with Geico and Allstate setting up shop in Massachusetts. According to the Insurance Journal, it’s been a long-time coming:
“We have been looking forward to serving Massachusetts drivers for a long time,” said Steve Cunningham, regional vice president, in a statement released by Geico. “We are very happy to be here and doing business with Massachusetts residents. We think we can bring them low rates and great service.”
“People are looking for value and choice,” said George Ruebenson, President of Allstate Protection. “As a company with a solid reputation and a national presence, Allstate will provide
Indeed, the consumers of Massachusetts do want choice – that’s why MassDriver.org exists, to bring light to the options and choices that Massachusetts consumers have in their search for the best auto insurance for their needs. You can’t save if you don’t compare!
The personal lines insurance company said it targeted Nov. 2 as the date in which it would offer rates to consumers, if it was successful in setting ratings with the Massachusetts Division of Insurance.
Yet another big carrier brings additional options and choice for Massachusetts Drivers! We’ll be sure to report as news develops with Allstate’s application.
Other companies that have recently changed their auto insurance rates, according to published reports, include Commerce Insurance Co. of Webster, which is lowering its average rate 4.5 percent; Liberty Mutual of Boston, which is raising its average rate 4 percent; and Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Co., which is raising rates an average of 3 percent.
“After four successive years of declining rates, including last year’s 10.7 percent decrease, loss trends, expenses, and inflation dictated a need to increase rates,” said John Natale, a spokesman for Liberty Mutual, which is based in Boston.
WBZ is covering updates on bills introduced on Beacon Hill to save the Massachusetts Auto Appeals Board. A new hook? The existence of the board generates about $2.5M in revenue for the commonwealth of Massachusetts in fees:
Proponents of the current appeals process say it saves drivers about $25 million a year because 45 percent to 50 percent of them win their appeals; and the $50 fee they pay gives the state $2.5 million a year in revenue.
WBZ also has some video on this subject. To view it, click here.