The Metro Daily News captured a great quote from Frank Mancini, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents, regarding the introduction of competition to the Massachusetts auto insurance market:
“It’s a big change for everyone. We’ve had the same insurance system since the 1920s.”
An important point to remember; indeed, Massachusetts has embarked on an extremely large change and as a result, time will be needed to perfect the new system.
Competition has certainly changed the playing field in the world of Massachusetts Auto Insurance. Although insurance agents continue to provide value to consumers, the increased competition is not desirable for Massachusetts insurance agents because it will change the playing field dramatically for Massachusetts Auto Insurance. One situation with a group of Massachusetts Auto Insurance agents and Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Nonnie S. Burnes, alleges preferential treatment for newcomers to the Massachusetts Auto Insurance marketplace.
‘The Web site as it is currently maintained is not only not helpful, it’s misleading,’ Coakley said at a news conference on the day the state switched to a system in which auto insurers, rather than the regulators, set rates for the first time in three decades.
The site advises consumers actual quotes from insurers ‘may differ significantly’ from the samples. Coakley said those warnings don’t make up for the fact that the sample quotes frequently don’t reflect the rate an insurer would actually offer an individual.
Thankfully, there are other additional comparison sites that area available for consumers to use for Massachusetts Auto Insurance purchases.
In this release by Electric Insurance Company, the company encourages Massachusetts Auto Insurance customers to forgo comparison websites and shop with it directly, citing the availability of inducements and discounts on its own cite. We can’t say that we agree with Electric, though we do like their insurance products! Comparison sites like MassDrive.com and others give Massachusetts Insurance customers the broadest range of choice and prices for their unique needs. Go ahead and compare – no matter what anyone tells you!
Why does it make sense for most Massacusetts auto insurance customers to compare? A few simple reasons:
Insurance companies sometimes have vastly different rates that can cost or save you money
Depending on you and your family’s unique situation, certain insurance companies will offer benefits that will save you the most money
Comparison shopping will inherently give you more information about the auto insurance process in Massachusetts
WCVB-TV in Boston does a good job of explaining some of the negative aspects of the advent of competition in the state of Massachusetts. Indeed, some better drivers have not immediately realized the benefits of being a good driver because their rates did not drop significantly – this can be attributed to the formula with which insurance companies calculate rates. As readers of MassDriver.org will note, this exact topic has been central to the debate on deregulation of Massachusetts Auto Insurance since its inception.
It’s important to note that this formula is set to change in 2009, and insurance companies will have more opportunity to provide better drivers with lower auto insurance rates in Massachusetts.
“We appreciate the work the [Massachusetts Division of Insurance] has done to create a regulatory environment that allows companies to compete for customers. We hope that come May 1, drivers will check out progressive.com and see what we have to offer.”
In a related point, The Insurance Journal notes that Liberty Mutual insurance company plans to return to Massachusetts, as a result of deregulation of the insurance market in Massachusetts.
The Daily Times of Woburn ran a solid piece meant to be informative to residents of Woburn, Massachusetts, acknowledging that the introduction of competition to the Massachusetts auto insurance marketing does indeed make for more complex decisions for Massachusetts consumers. But, put simply, it’s meant to ultimately benefit consumers. From The Daily Times:
Competition is designed to encourage insurance companies to offer their lowest possible premium to each driver.