auto appeals board

Appeals Board may be permanent

The state House of Representatives voted 155-0 on Thursday to approve a bill that would make permanent the board that rules on drivers’ appeals of motor vehicle insurance surcharges.  The Republican reports that this vote would “…enshrine the state Division of Insurance’s Board of Appeal in state law and strip away the power of an insurance commissioner to unilaterally abolish the board.” 

Appeals Board Retained…for now

Yesterday on Beacon Hill, Commissioner Burnes stated that she will retain the state board allowing drivers to appeal auto insurance surcharges.  As reports, supporters of the board process were satisfied with Burnes’ change of position on this matter and believe that it is best for the consumer.  Whether or not the Appeals Board will be around in the long term remains to be seen.

Is closing the auto appeals board right for Massachusetts?

On its editorial pages,the Worcester Telegram & Gazette tackles the question of whether or not the auto appeals board is truly obsolete due to the introduction of managed competition in Massachusetts:

The system could be cumbersome, to be sure. However, it remains to be seen whether its replacement — an at-fault review process conducted by the insurer — will be more expeditious or consumer friendly.

One notable point is also stated by the Telegram & Gazette:

Ms. Burnes promises to monitor the change and “issue further guidance” as needed. If the company-driven reviews fail to meet expectations, a prompt return to the appeals system should be among the options in play.

It’s good to know that Insurance Commissioner Nonnie S. Burnes is open to reverting back to the old system and reestablish the appeals board, should this new approach fail. At, we covered the end of the Massachusetts auto appeals board previously. Be sure to check back here for further updates!

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