For Immediate Release - November 29, 2011

$5.6 Million in Refunds Sent to Consumers Under AG Coakley’s Latest Motorcycle Insurance Settlements

Total Restitution To Motorcycle Owners Approaches $40 Million

BOSTON - More than $5.6 Million in additional insurance refunds are headed back to Massachusetts motorcycle owners, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today. 

Premier Insurance Company of Massachusetts (“Travelers”), American Automobile Insurance Company (“Fireman’s Fund”) and Electric Insurance Company (“Electric”) issued the refunds under settlements reached with the Attorney General’s Office last month.  Statewide, Travelers is sending $5,000,386, Fireman’s Fund is sending $571,394, and Electric is sending $123,882 in refunds.            

“Our motorcycle insurance investigation began with a single consumer complaint,” said AG Coakley. “Our investigations will continue until each and every insurance company that engaged in this practice has refunded the overcharges to its customers.”    

The payments by Travelers, Fireman’s Fund and Electric are part of the Attorney General’s industry-wide investigation into motorcycle rating practices.  In total, 15 insurance companies have settled with AG Coakley’s Office, resulting in nearly $40 Million in refunds for Massachusetts motorcycle owners. 

The other 12 settling companies are Safety Insurance Company, Arbella Mutual, Plymouth Rock, Pilgrim, Metropolitan P&C, Liberty Mutual, Hanover (aka Citizens), OneBeacon (aka Mass Homeland), Quincy Mutual, Norfolk & Dedham, USAA, and NGM Insurance Company.  A number of additional insurance companies remain under investigation. 

All 15 related settlements stem from a single consumer complaint filed with the Attorney General’s Office.  That consumer owned a 1999 Harley-Davidson Road King Classic.  In each year between 2003 and 2008, the consumer’s insurance company calculated the consumer’s premiums as if his 1999 Road King Classic were brand new and worth $20,000.  By 2003, however, the consumer’s four year old motorcycle was worth significantly less than its original $20,000 price, and by 2008, the nine-year old motorcycle was worth less than $12,000.  Still, in each year between 2003 and 2008, the consumer’s insurance company used the inflated $20,000 value to rate his policy, resulting in more than $1,500 in overcharges.  For more information about how the overcharges occurred, including charts depicting the overcharges, visit http://www.mass.gov/ago/motorcycles.

In order to be eligible for a refund under the Attorney General's settlements, a consumer must have purchased comprehensive and/or collision insurance coverage for a motorcycle on or after January 1, 2002 and that motorcycle must have been overvalued by the insurance company for the purposes of calculating premiums. Consumers who think they may be entitled to a refund can use the Attorney General's Motorcycle Insurance Refund Lookup Webpage at www.motorcycle.ago.state.ma.us to find out whether they are eligible, and if so, how much they are entitled to receive.  Consumers who have questions about the settlements or their refund may visit the Attorney General's webpage about the motorcycle insurance settlements or call the Attorney General's Insurance & Financial Services Division at 1-888-830-6277.

These cases were handled by Investigations Supervisor Arwen Thoman, Mathematician Burt Feinberg, Economist Bryan Lincoln and Assistant Attorney General Glenn Kaplan, Chief of Attorney General Coakley’s Insurance & Financial Services Division.  The original consumer complaint was handled by Mediator Rebecca Dutra also of Attorney General Coakley’s Insurance & Financial Services Division.

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