Hearing scheduled for April 30, 2009

In accordance with the authority granted to the Commissioner of Insurance under Chapter 175E, Section 7 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Division of Insurance will conduct a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on April 30, 2009 at its offices at One South Station, Boston, MA, at the request of the Attorney General, regarding the private passenger motor vehicle rate filing of the Occidental Fire & Casualty of North Carolina ("Occidental") dated February 13, 2009.

The purpose of this hearing is to afford the Parties, who are the Attorney General and Occidental, an opportunity to provide testimony and documents relating to Occidental's proposed rates so that the Commissioner may determine whether such rates are excessive and unfairly discriminatory in violation of Chapters 175A and 175E of the Massachusetts General Laws as asserted by the Attorney General.

Specifically, the Commissioner will determine whether the following provision of Occidental's rate filing, as challenged by the Attorney General, is excessive: (1) the base rates are the same as the 2009 MAIP rates which are not supported by any data or information showing that the rates are reasonable and not excessive for any population other than high-loss MAIP drivers. She also will determine whether the following provisions are unfairly discriminatory, as alleged by the Attorney General, because they discriminate based on national origin: (1) Occidental's 35% surcharge on the rates of consumers who have motor vehicle records from Puerto Rico and from foreign countries; and (2) Occidental's failure to consider driving experience based on non-English MVTs in its "years driving factor."

The operation of Occidental's rate filing currently has not been suspended pending this hearing.

The initiation of this hearing pursuant to Chapter 175E, § 7 will occur with the commencement of a pre-hearing conference that will take place on March 31, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. at the Division. The Division will issue a separate notice for this conference in which the issues to be addressed at the conference are identified.

This proceeding is designated as Docket R2009-01 and shall be conducted pursuant to 211 CMR 79.00, et seq. All papers relating to this proceeding shall refer to Docket No. R2009-01 and shall be addressed to the Division of Insurance, Docket Clerk, Hearings and Appeals, One South Station, Boston, MA 02110-2208.

Dated: March 19, 2009
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Nonnie S. Burnes
Commissioner of Insurance