October 10, 2003
CONTACT: Chris Goetcheus
(617) 521-7333

State Rating Bureau Makes Rate Recommendation For 2004 Private Passenger Auto Insurance Rates

(Boston, MA) The State Rating Bureau ("SRB") today filed with the Division of Insurance its main rate recommendation in the ongoing 2004 private passenger auto insurance rate case. Based on the evidence presented by the auto insurers in August, the SRB believes the average rate request of 12 percent is too high and is recommending to Insurance Commissioner Julie Bowler a smaller statewide average increase of between 3 and 4 percent.

Kevin Beagan of the State Rating Bureau pointed to data from 2002 that indicates a need for a modest increase in order to maintain rate adequacy in the marketplace. "Both bodily injury and personal injury claims frequency jumped by the largest percentages since 1988 and the average loss payments per vehicle are rising by about 2.5 percent per year," Beagan said.

If approved by Commissioner Bowler, the SRB's recommended average rate range would reduce the insurers' request for $123 per vehicle by $82 to $92 per vehicle. By law, Commissioner Bowler must issue a decision in the rate case by December 15, 2003.