Docket Number R2009-02
Pursuant to M. G. L. c. 175C, §5, a hearing will be take place at 10:00 a.m. on December 15, 2009, at the offices of the Division of Insurance ("Division"), 5th Floor, One South Station, Boston, MA, to consider whether the Commissioner of Insurance should approve rate filings for property insured through the Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association ("MPIUA"), also known as the FAIR Plan. The MPIUA has submitted a rate filing that includes rate, rule and form revisions for Homeowners Multi-Peril Insurance, and rate and rule revisions for Dwelling Fire and Extended Coverage and Commercial Fire and Allied Lines Insurance. The proposed overall rate effects are, for Homeowners Multi-Peril Insurance, 1.9 percent; for Dwelling Fire and Extended Coverage, 7.0 percent; and for Commercial Fire and Allied Lines 0.0 percent. The proposed effective date for each filing is December 31, 2009. The MPIUA filings may be examined at the Division's offices during normal business hours.
The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of General Laws, c. 174A, c. 175A, c. 175C, and c. 30A; and 211 CMR 101.00, et seq. Any person who wishes to make an oral statement on December 15 is asked to submit a Notice of Intent to Make a Statement on or before December 11, 2009. All other persons will be heard after those who submit such notice.
Any person, other than the State Rating Bureau, who wishes to exercise a statutory right to intervene must file a notice of appearance by November 16, 2009. Any other person who wishes to intervene or to participate in the hearing must submit a written petition for leave to intervene or participate, which includes any data that the petitioner intends to introduce at the hearings, by November 13, 2009, and must serve the petition on the MPIUA, the State Rating Bureau, and any statutory intervenor that appeared in the most recent hearing on MPIUA rates. The MPIUA, the State Rating Bureau and any statutory intervenor who has filed a notice of appearance shall file any response to petitions to intervene or to participate within five days after service of the petition. A hearing on any such petitions will take place on November 24, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. at the Division's offices.
The State Rating Bureau and any statutory intervenor shall promptly commence discovery pursuant to 211 CMR 101.08 (2) in accord with the schedule set out in this paragraph. Discovery shall be conducted utilizing the definitions applicable to discovery set out in Massachusetts Superior Court Standing Order 1-09. The parties shall further comply with the principles in that order applicable to requests for the production of documents, within the time frames set out in 211 CMR 101.08 (2)(b) and this notice. Requests for discovery shall be served on the MPIUA no later than 14 days following publication of this hearing notice. Responses to discovery requests shall be made on or before December 2, 2009. Motions relating to discovery disputes shall be filed in accord with the time permitted under 211 CMR 101.08 (2)(b). General objections to requests for production of documents or things are prohibited. A party responding to a request for production of documents or things must state whether (i) all responsive documents or things in the possession, custody or control of the responding party have been produced; (ii) after diligent search no responsive documents or things are in the possession, custody or control of the responding party; or (iii) the specific objection made to the request. If a specific objection is made, the response shall describe the nature of all responsive documents or things in the possession, custody or control of the responding party that have not been produced because of the objection. The Commissioner may order a party to produce a privilege log. In its initial written response to a request for production of documents or things, the responding party shall articulate with clarity the scope of the search conducted. If the scope of the search changes during production, the responding party shall articulate with clarity the change in scope. If the scope of the search does not include all locations, including electronic storage locations, where responsive documents or things might reasonably be found, the responding party shall explain why these locations have been excluded from the scope of the search
A prehearing and scheduling conference pursuant to 211 CMR 101.08 (1) will take place at the Division at 10:00 a.m. on December 10, 2009. All parties, including those who have been given permission to intervene or to participate must attend. Before the conference, the parties who are presenting witnesses or conducting cross-examination shall confer and develop a proposed schedule for cross-examination of the MPIUA's witnesses on a day-to-day basis beginning on December 17, 2009. The pre-hearing conference will address the topics listed in 211 CMR 101.08 (1) and the cross-examination schedule.
All submissions shall reference Docket No. R2009-02 and shall be addressed to the Docket Clerk, Hearings and Appeals, Division of Insurance, One South Station, Boston, MA 02110-2208.
Dated: November 4, 2009
Joseph G. Murphy
Acting Commissioner of Insurance