October 9, 2001
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: CHRISTOPHER GOETCHEUS
(617) 521-7333

Insurance Commissioner Ruthardt Orders No Increase
In Existing Auto Rates For 2002

(BOSTON, MA) Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Linda L. Ruthardt today will sign an order in the 2002 Private Passenger Automobile Insurance rate case that will result in no change to the statewide average rate that policyholders will pay next year.

The order affirms an agreement between the State Rating Bureau (SRB), Automobile Insurers Bureau (AIB), the Office of the Attorney General (AG) and the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) and comes more than two months before the statutory deadline for a decision in the rate case. The AIB, representing the state's personal auto insurers, recommended a +7.8% rate increase for 2002 back in August. The agreement has slight increases in the rates for compulsory (mandatory) coverages, offset in the statewide average rate by slight decreases in the rates for optional coverages.

Commenting on the agreement by the parties, Commissioner Ruthardt said, "We believe the agreement reached is fair to all parties involved and still protects the interests of consumers. We hope insurers will still find a way to reward their safest drivers as they've done in recent years."

Robert MacNicholl, Director of the State Rating Bureau, commented, " The 0% settlement confirms the points the SRB made in our statement at the public hearing. The industry calls for a 7.8% increase and agrees to 0%, i.e., no increase."


SOME CONSUMER FACTS



  • In the next 30 days, insurers may file with the Division of Insurance for permission to charge less than the established rate for 2002. In recent years, insurers have offered voluntary discounts ranging from 2%-to-15% for drivers with SDIP steps 9 and 10. The Division's web site will again be regularly updated as applications are filed and decisions issued.
  • In the coming weeks, insurers may file group discounts with the Division of Insurance. As these discounts are approved they will be posted on the Division's web site at www.mass.gov/doi . Consumers can realize additional savings by qualifying for an approved group. Check with your agent, insurer or employer.
  • One significant change for 2002 deals with the discount for multi-car situations with the same insurer. As a result of the agreement, 5% multi-car discounts will now be applied to compulsory coverages and optional bodily injury liability coverage, in addition to collision, limited collision and comprehensive coverages for class 10 and class 15 vehicles.