June 13, 2002
(617) 521-7333

Division Of Insurance Approves Extending Pre-Insurance
Inspection Timeframe For Auto Policyholders

(BOSTON, MA) Massachusetts policyholders who buy physical damage coverages for newly-purchased pre-owned vehicles will get an additional three days in which to have those vehicles inspected for pre-existing damage. The extension from the previous seven-day timeframe was one of several changes the Division recently approved in its revision of a state regulation governing the pre-insurance inspection of private passenger automobiles.

Policyholders who do not obtain a pre-insurance inspection in the allotted timeframe are subject to insurers suspending their collision and/or comprehensive coverages. The regulation previously counted Sundays among the seven-day timeframe in which to obtain a pre-insurance inspection. The revised regulation now allows for a ten-day timeframe following the effective date of coverage and excludes Sundays while continuing to exclude legal holidays.

"It gives people a little more time to take care of all the details associated with insuring a car or switching insurers and hopefully minimizes coverage suspensions" said Commissioner Julie Bowler.

The revised regulation offers policyholders additional options for obtaining lists of authorized pre-insurance inspection sites. Within a few weeks, policyholders will be able to call their insurer's toll-free phone number and/or access the lists online. Policyholders should check with their agents or insurers to determine which means will be available to them. The regulation also addresses new circumstances in which insurers may waive the mandatory inspection for pre-owned vehicles. They include:

  • If an agent transfers his/her business to more than one insurer.
  • If a policyholder is renewing with a different insurer and the existing vehicle carries collision and/or comprehensive coverages or if a copy of a prior pre-insurance inspection is provided.
  • If a policyholder has been the customer of a producer for at least three (3) years and coverage has included collision and/or comprehensive in that time.

The revised regulation (211.CMR 94.00) was issued on May 10, 2002 following a public hearing held at the Division of Insurance on April 2, 2002.