massachusetts auto insurance


Attorney General Coakley Proposes Additional Insurance Regulations

Martha Coakley, the Massachusetts Attorney General, has proposed new regulations that she believes will take force in sales and underwriting practices for auto insurers and agents across Massachusetts. The newly proposed regulations have been formed in response to a report published by Coakley’s office last year regarding the deregulated Massachusetts auto insurance market.

Coakley said in a statement, “We have seen some positive changes since the auto insurance marketplace was deregulated two years ago. However, there are still many improvements that should be made within the system to better protect consumers.” She believes the new proposals will increase the transparency of auto insurance to help consumers shop for better policies.

Two public hearings will be held this June on the proposed auto insurance regulations. These regulations include banning of the use of credit score to determine premiums and create rules for what statements auto insurance carriers can make while advertising prices.

Coakley’s proposal has been seen in a less than favorable light by some from the industry. Of those skeptical of the proposed regulations is Paul Tetraul, Northeast state affairs manager for the National Association of Mutual Insurance companies. Tetraul called the regulations unnecessary and ill-advised. He continued to explain:

“The underlying premises of the regulations, and the report issued by Attorney General Coakley’s office, are that consumers are not faring well under managed competition and that consumers are not protected adequately under existing regulations. Nothing could be further from the truth: the increased competition has resulted in most consumers saving money and having meaningful choices in the marketplace for the first time in decades.”

Read more about the proposed regulations at The Insurance Journal.

Plymouth Rock Customers Receive MORE Benefits!

Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation announced last week it has made an agreement made with some of the nation’s top auto service providers and part retailers to provide Plymouth Rock policy holders with additional Savings Pass Program benefits. Plymouth Rock has partnered with Sears Auto Center, Meineke Car Care Centers and Maaco to name a few, offering discounts saving up to 15% on auto-related products and services when customers use their Savings Pass.

Meineke Car Car Centers and Maaco will offer a number of discounts on auto parts and repairs at to those within the Plymouth Rock Savings Pass Program. Meineke will offer Plymouth Rock customers 5% off new tires and batteries – instillation included – and a 10% discount on all other products and services. It has also been announced Maaco will be offering 10% off their services and products. Sears Auto Center will provide Plymouth Rock customers a 5% discount on regular priced products and a $7.00 discount on oil changes. According to the carrier’s website, the Plymouth Rock Savings Pass offers additional discounts at: Auto Anything, Hertz, Enterprise, Sullivan Tires, Auto Sound, In Control, Driven – Advanced Driving School, Jiffy Lube, and more auto service and parts providers.

The Savings Pass is free and given with all Massachusetts Plymouth Rock insurance policies. In addition to the free Savings Pass Plymouth Rock offers a number of services in the MYLES – Make Your Life Easier Services including:

  • Online payment options, electronic billing and e-mail document delivery
  • Easy and convenient Internet-based claim viewing, a new feature that allows Plymouth Rock customers and their agents to view the progress of an auto claim online
  • Email reminders for inspection sticker, license and registration renewals for every car and driver on a customer’s policy

MassDrive is a proud broker of Plymouth Rock Assurance Auto and Home insurance. For more information about Plymouth Rock or a free quote call a friendly MassDrive agent today!

Massachusetts Makes Top 10 for Least Expesive Auto Insurance

A recent survey published by Insure.com has revealed the United States most and least expensive states for auto insurance. The study was based on the average auto insurance premium for more than 2,400 vehicles in 10 zip codes per state with six of the United State’s largest auto insurance providers.

With an average auto insurance premium of $2,510.87, Lousiana takes the lead for the most expensive state to insure a vehicle. Insure.com reasons Louisiana holds this title as a result of the state’s court system and the rough condition its roads are in. Not far behind is Michigan as the second most expensive state to insure an auto at an average premium of $2,098.29. Michigan’s high insurance rates can be attributed to a state medical law and a terribly high unemployment rate. With unemployment at a whopping 15% many are driving uninsured, which increases the burden on insurance companies and in turn a driver’s premium.

Maine however has nothing to complain about as it comes in as the least expensive state to insure a vehicle with an average premium of $902.85. Maine’s low rates can be attributed to a couple factors including less people on the road and less traffic congestion as well as a low number of accident claims. Additionally at least 30 insurance providers offer coverage in Maine, increasing competition and pushing premiums down.

When the Massachusetts auto insurance market was deregulated additional insurance providers entered the scene encouraging greater competition and gradually lower auto insurance premiums. Massachusetts holds out as at the 7th least expensive state to insure an automobile. The best way to find the lowest insurance premium is through comparing quotes through different carriers. MassDrive compares auto insurance premiums and coverages for you, saving you time and money. Give a friendly MassDrive agent a call for a free quote comparison today!

TOP TEN MOST & LEAST EXPENSIVE STATES FOR AUTO INSURANCE & AVERAGE PREMIUM

Top Ten Most Expensive:

1. Louisiana $2,510.87
2. Michigan $2,098.29
3. Oklahoma $1,869.39
4. Montana $1,857.96
5. California $1,774.41
6. South Dakota $1,772.83
7. Washington, D.C. $1,753.19
8. Georgia $1,751.42
9. Illinois $1,679.15
10. Connecticut $1,678.90

Top Ten Least Expensive:

1. Maine $902.85
2. Vermont $968.58
3. Ohio $999.86
4. Wisconsin $1,010.93
5. New Hampshire $1,011.23
6. Iowa $1,039.04
7. Massachusetts $1,043.80
8. North Carolina $1,130.45
9. Arizona $1,152.50
10. Tennessee $1,170.12

Managed Competition = Driver's Savings

Before 2008 Massachusetts auto insurance rates were set by the Massachusetts Commissioner of Insurance by the fix-and-establish system. The previous system relied on zip code and driving record to determine rates, in the new deregulated system carriers use their own methods of calculating rates and has in result increased competition saving driver’s money on auto insurance.

With managed competition new advantages have surfaced in the Massachusetts auto insurance market including: additional insurance companies, independent agencies have gained additional carriers to represent and the state has experienced a decrease in number of uninsured motorists. From the early 1990s through up to 2008 the number of insurance companies offering private passenger auto insurance had fallen from 35 to 19, however in the first year of managed competition nine companies entered Massachusetts’ auto insurance market. According to the Department of Insurance average premiums per vehicle on the road have decreased 8.2 % in the first year alone!

Under managed competition insurance providers can give additional discounts previously unavailable. For example an insurance carrier can give a driver discounts for holding a AAA membership or owning a home. It is important to also realize that providers may chose to or not to impose surcharges for traffic violations but cannot use at-fault accidents that took place more than six years prior to your policy effective date.

Although it is important to note auto insurance is under managed competition. This means although auto insurance companies may chose to set their own rates, the state of Massachusetts must approve them. Insurance carriers may also offer differing discounts, almost necessitating a driver shop differing carriers. Start shopping today by calling MassDrive where a representative will compare insurance quotes from multiple carriers for you!

Progressive Falls Behind

Flo, the popular Progressive personality, will bring higher premiums with her quirky commercials and price zapping gun this quarter. Progressive entered the Massachusetts auto insurance market two years ago with rates attractively lower than most competitors. The lower premiums however have not endured as Progressive raises their rates for a fourth time since their debut in 2008. The new price increase of 6.63% will raise prices a grad total of about 16% over the last two years.

Andrew Quigg, a Progressive executive in charge of the company’s Massachusetts business states,”We’re still very competitive… Thousands of consumers still shop around and find us to have the lowest cost for auto insurance.” Even so, Progressive has become less and less attractive to the Massachusetts driver as time continues to provided a history of constantly increasing premiums. If these price increases continue to follow their repetitive pattern, Quigg’s statement is unlikely to remain true for long.

Insurance commissioner Joe Murphy told the Boston Globe he believes the deregulated auto insurance market, “has been wildly successful.” And successful it has been. The Massachusetts Division of Insurance reports drivers saved $270 million in the first year of deregulation. Eleven new insurance carriers have entered the Massachusetts auto insurance market since the new system emerged. Before deregulation insurance rates were set by the government and depended upon the driver’s location and driving record only. The new market allows insurance carriers to offer discounts from holding a AAA membership to owning a home. Deregulation holds great potential savings for drivers state wide.

Some critics of the newly deregulated system find it difficult to compare prices through the plethora of new auto insurance carriers. Adjusting to a new system may difficult for some, however it does not have to be difficult for you. MassDrive Direct Auto Insurance understands you have better things to do with your time than compare auto insurance quotes while understanding it is an important process. Here at MassDrive we quickly gather your basic information and compare auto insurance quotes for you!

No longer will you need to worry about comparing rates, coverages between quotes, or stress about discounts – MassDrive has your back. We compare quotes through various Massachusetts insurance carriers helping you find the best price and saving you time. One carriers may offer discounts another does not, in comparing your information through various carriers we help you get the most bang for your buck. And the best part? The quotes are completely free! Give MassDrive a call, one of our friendly representatives will compare your quotes saving you time and money.

Toyota Recall & Massachusetts Residents

Toyota’s freeze on the productions of popular vehicle models and recall of 4.1 million additional vehicles may be reason enough take look at your own vehicle. Toyota announced last week accelerator pedals made by CTS may stick or slowly release from a depressed position on 2.3 million U.S-built cars and light trucks, causing them to speed uncontrollably. Toyota’s public accusation was not lightly taken as CTS shares have fallen 18% since January 20th, day before Toyota pin pointed CTS as the reason for recall.

Massachusetts Division of Insurance has ruled Toyota owners who believe the cause of a previous accident was caused by the sticking CTS pedal may appeal recent and older auto insurance surcharges. The driver appealing auto insurance surcharges must be able to prove the cause of the accident was uncontrolled acceleration. Toyota drivers must also be able to prove the vehicle involved was a recalled model. If you would like to appeal an insurance surcharge know that you must lodge an appeal by March 3oth or within 60 days of receiving a recall notice, whichever occurs latest.

Toyota plans on shipping the necessary replacement parts to dealerships across the country later this week. Technicians will still need to be trained to install the essential parts however Toyota is working to solve this major safety issues as quickly as they can. This is the car manufacturer’s second major recall, the first caused by floor mat entrapment, shaking Toyota’s confidence and share of the auto market.

Divison of Insurance… What Does it Do?

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance serves the people of Massachusetts and the insurance carriers. The DOI Mission Statement states it’s primary mission is to overlook the solvency of it’s licensees to create and maintain a productive and willing market for insurance consumers. It also includes the following:

“Protection of consumer interests is of prime importance to the Division and is safeguarded by providing accurate and unbiased information so consumers may make informed decisions and by intervening on behalf of consumers who believe they have been victimized by unfair business practices.”

The mission statement exposes what the Division of Insurance is all about, but what exactly does it do? Take a look at the following, listed on the DOI website, to get a better idea:

  • License Insurance Companies: The DOI processes the license of each insurance insurance carrier to ensure only financially stable insurance companies receive and maintain a license to sell insurance.
  • Examine the Financial Stability of Insurance Companies: Monitoring insurance carriers through quarterly financial reviews the DOI looks for signs of financial instability. When financial worries arise the DOI will regulate the actions of the company to prevent insolvency.
  • Examine the Conduct of Insurance Companies: The Division will go further than finances, it also examines an insurance company’s customer relations. Examining everything from a company’s underwriting and rating procedures to renewals and claims the DOI looks to make sure the consumers are treated fairly.
  • Regulates forms, rates, and programs: Through regulating the forms, rates, and programs of each insurance company the DOI ensures products sold by each company follow Massachusetts laws and regulations
  • Provides license for producers and others involved w/ insurance: The Division provides insurance license for producers and others involved in the insurance industry. This ensures that a license will only be given to someone who is qualifies and will abide by Massachusetts laws.
  • Accepts Insurance Complaints: The Division of Insurance also accepts complaints against an insurer, producer/ agent, or appraiser involved in the insurance business. The Division will give each complaint a reply and/ or resolution explaining and coinciding with Massachusetts laws and regulations.

Allstate Premiums Increase

Thousands of Allstate home insurance customers will see an average increase of 9.8% next month. Allstate’s increases will take effect December 17th when policies come up for renewal. Bill Mellander, Allstate Spokesman, stated an increase in claims costs, particularly from roofing repairs and materials, is a driving force behind the increased rates.

A great way to find discounts on homeowners insurance is through companion policies, when you purchase multiple policies from the same company. For example MassDrive offers discounts on both homeowners and auto insurance when both policies are purchased through a MassDrive agent. Contact a local MassDrive agent through our website or call: 866-963-8231 for a free quote.

Life Events Affecting Your Auto Insurance

Ever wonder before those big changes, how exactly is this going to affect me and the rest of my life? Here’s the skinny on how a few life changes may affect your auto insurance…

Marriage: Many changes come with marriage from filing taxes to adjusting bank accounts and discounts on your auto insurance as well. Combining spouses on the same policy saves money on the plan itself, not to mention the multi-car discount couples receive.

Getting Older: Auto insurance tends to drop after the early 20’s. These years increase your driving  as maturity level and ability to make decisions. In fact the safest drivers seem to be ages 55 – 65 years.

Retirement: After retirement you’re no longer  driving Monday through Friday to and from the office. Your leisure diriving is likely to be less than it your total driving prior to retirement. Likely decreasing your annual mileage, and thus your insurance premiums as well.

Understanding The Basics

What is your insurance policy really telling you? Some auto insurance terms are confusing in themselves. Take a look at the basics below to gain a better understanding of your auto insurance policy:

Property Damage Liability: This coverage will pay for any damages your auto does to someone else’s property. Usually this would be damages done to another car, but this coverage will also pay for damages to other property such as fences, light poles, a house or any other types of damages that may result from an accident.

Comprehensive Coverage: This coverage protects your auto when damages occur from something other than a collision. This type of coverage covers things like if your car is stolen or maybe damaged by water, fire, or animals.

Collision Coverage: Pretty straight forward on this one. This will cover your car when it is involved in a collision with another car or object.

Bodily Injury: This coverage is key to keeping you financially sound covering injuries or death that you are responsible for. This coverage will also cover the cost of your legal defense should another driver bring a lawsuit against you.

Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury: This coverage protects you from bodily injuries, damages, or death caused by an uninsured auto found at fault and hit and run. When the other party does not have the coverage to repair your car or pay for your medical bills from an accident, this coverage will kick in and save you from large out of pocket expenses.

A great source for insurance information, from state requirements to changes in local legislation, is the Massachusetts Department of Insurance website. For more specific information and definitions consult your insurance provider and your policy.

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