For Immediate Release - March 07, 2008

Division of Insurance Advises Consumers about Ways to Take Advantage of Managed Competition

BOSTON - March 7, 2008 - Insurance Commissioner Nonnie S. Burnes today issued an alert to consumers informing them that they may be able to take advantage of managed competition even before their current policy expires.

"Consumers are eager to participate in the new market so they can benefit from the numerous opportunities for savings and choice that are now out there," said Burnes. "It's never too early to start thinking about shopping and trying to find the best deal for you."

All consumers are allowed to cancel or change companies any time during the term of their policies, or when their policy terms expire. Before making a change, however, Burnes urged consumers to first talk to their insurance agent or company because insurers may charge a fee known as a "short rate value" for early cancellation.

"One way insurers are competing for your business under managed competition is by offering to waive or credit short rate values. Others are rewarding customers who stay with them," said Burnes. "You should check with your insurance agent to determine the insurance choices that are in your best interest."

Insurers can not charge consumers who cancel their policies within the first 30 days of the policy a short rate value. To learn more about short rate values, please read the Division's alert www.mass.gov/doi.

For further information on the new managed competition system, consumers can visit the Division's auto rate comparison web site at www.mass.gov/autorates or call the Division's Consumer Services Section at (617) 521-7794.