This past May the state attorney general announced four additional insurance companies to pay fines and compensate 10,000 auto insurance customers who were being charged auto premiums with inaccurate accident reports indicating they had not been at fault. The four companies to re-pay customers unfairly determined premiums are: Abrella Mutual, Norfolk & Dedham, United Service Automobile Association and Electric Insurance.
Some Massachusetts insurance companies were practicing outsourcing. When the auto insurance industry deregulated about two years ago the major insurers began using private databases to rate customers. There is a fear this outsourcing was careless in its record practices and drivers were being wrongly assigned at fault accidents and thus being charged higher premiums. These errors were found and investigated when a consumer complaint was sent to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office regarding overcharges based upon an inaccurate driving record.
Along the same lines as a credit report, your driving record in the RMV can contain mistakes by way of anything from a misspelling error and software glitches to poor handwriting on the original accident report. To protect yourself from paying higher premiums for accidents you were not involved in or determined not at fault with, it’s a good idea to review your driving record every do often.
A great way to do this is to ask your auto insurance agent what accidents, tickets, or violations are on record and affecting your rates. If you find you have one of these on your record that you were not involved in the first step is to seek out the source of the information. If the information was submitted by a company, contact the company and request a copy of the accident report they have on file. When you receive a copy of the accident report, compare it to the original police report. You will next need to file an appeal to either your current auto insurance carrier or the Massachusetts Court of Appeals.
April 1st 2008 Massachusetts let the auto insurance industry loose. Shifting from state regulated rates to a managed competition many changes were brought to the Massachusetts auto insurance industry and consumers.
A study by the Department of Insurance analyzing this change included: a preliminary survey of 1,100 consumers, a comprehensive 30-minute survey of more than 4,500 drivers and one-on-one interviews with over 50 insurance agents and executives. This study has shown the overall shift to managed competition to be a positive step for the average Massachusetts auto insurance consumer.
Massachusetts drivers saved over $270 million in auto insurance premiums.
The auto insurance premium dropped by an average of 8.2 percent.
Nine new insurance companies entered the Massachusetts auto insurance market. These new companies entering sparked a competition among themselves, bringing lower rates and better service options to customers.
There was a 13% decrease in the number of uninsured cars on Mass roads.
As many consumers saved bundles on affordable auto insurance rates, only three out of four consumers were aware of the insurance market change. The government realizes the lack of knowledge consumers have concerning the new auto insurance industry and hopes to educate the public with more education and outreach.
Q: What’s the easiest way to keep low insurance rates?
A: With a clean drivers record.
Not only will you need to pay that speeding ticket, you’ll be paying for it the next couple years on your auto insurance. Insurance companies determine your rates in part by what kind of a driver you are. If you’re a safe driver with no citations, an insurance company sees you as a low risk to insure. If you’re a road-raging multi-major-accident driver, the insurance company may view you a little differently.
Massachusetts determines the magnitude of driving violations with surchargeable points. For example, a major accident will count more points than a 5 mile over speeding ticket. Take a look at how Massachusetts classifies your driving violations:
Major Traffic Violation (i.e., D.U.I.)
Major At-Fault Accident (claim over $2,000)
Minor At-Fault Accident (claim over $500 to $2,000)
Minor Traffic Violation (i.e., speeding)
Each citation adds more than just a few bucks on to your insurance. Avoid these hefty points with safe driving: allow extra traveling time, drive defensively, and buckle up. Your check book will thank you.
Feel like your paying too much for car insurance? For younger or high risk drivers some feel that they are paying more towards their massachusetts car insurance that what their car is actually worth if it were to get totaled. For example if a car was valued at $2000 and the driver was paying $170 a month for full coverage, then in a calender year they would over pay by $40 the value of his or her car. There are plenty things that can lead up to a high monthly premium for a lesser valued car such as the driver having many traffic violations.
For decades, Massachusetts was one of the few states that still operated their insurance market under strict regulations. These regulations forced all providers to offer the same product, essentially eliminating all competition between companies.
On April 1, 2008 the whole playing field changed when deregulation of policy prices was set in place. Since then, big things have been happening. With the return of Allstate to the Massachusetts auto marketgenerates some serious competition now.
This puts the consumer at an advantage because discounted rates are now given out to good drivers. The only problem is that it takes more work on the consumer’s part to compare all of the rates. At least that’s what the problem used to be; now you can compare the most affordable Masachusetts auto insurance policies!