For Immediate Release - March 26, 2008


Competitive rates set to kick in April 1st; Administration highlights consumer web site, benefits of shopping for best rates

BOSTON - Wednesday, March 26, 2008 - With just days to go before the state's new competitive auto insurance system begins, Governor Deval Patrick and Insurance Commissioner Nonnie S. Burnes met with consumers at South Station today to demonstrate the state's new sample premium web site and urged them to shop for the best deals under managed competition.

"Starting April 1st, consumers will see how managed competition translates into better rates and better choices for responsible drivers everywhere in Massachusetts," said Governor Patrick. "Consumers who shop will find that there are enormous opportunities for savings and choice out there. The state has resources and tools available to help consumers navigate the changes so that they can make managed competition work for them."

With Massachusetts shifting away from an overregulated system of state-set rates, the Division of Insurance unveiled a sample premium web site ( www.Mass.Gov/AutoRates) last month to show consumers the variety of competitive prices and products available in Massachusetts for the first time in 30 years. By answering a few simple questions, consumers can generate a list of sample premiums being offered by each of the state's 19 insurers. The site instructs consumers to contact an agent or company to obtain an actual rate quote. By clicking on the site's "find an agent" feature, consumers can easily connect with insurance professionals in their area.

"When consumers use our site, they are struck by the huge variations in prices and discounts being offered by different companies and it really motivates them to get serious about calling their agent and starting to comparison shop," said Commissioner Burnes. "The savings for good drivers has the potential to be significant so it's worth it for all consumers to do a little legwork."

The Division of Insurance estimates that responsible drivers will save at least 10% on their 2008 auto insurance premiums. They may see their rates drop even more if they shop around. For more information on the new system and to learn about additional ways to save under managed competition, consumers should visit www.Mass.Gov/DOI.


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