For Immediate Release - December 19, 2007

Insurance Commissioner Places Managed Competition Rates on File

Exhaustive rate reviews completed; New consumer benefits begin to take hold

Following the completion of a thorough and rigorous review process, Insurance Commissioner Nonnie S. Burnes today placed the rates of the following companies on file at the Division of Insurance: State Farm, Fireman's Fund, Quincy Mutual, Praetorian, Safety, OneBeacon, Amica and Farm Family. The move means that these eight insurers can offer consumers the rates, discounts and coverage options included in their separate filings beginning on April 1, 2008.

"The Division intentionally set a high bar for companies to meet so that Massachusetts consumers are guaranteed the highest level of protection under managed competition," said Burnes. "After painstaking review, we have concluded that these insurers have fulfilled the Division's requirements and should be allowed to compete for their customers by offering better rates, products and choices."

The Division oversaw an independent and experienced actuarial firm's evaluation of each insurer's filing. The actuaries assessed the plans to verify that the proposed rates are neither excessive nor inadequate. The team projected future company losses, expenses and profits to devise separate indicated rates. In each instance, the actual rates the companies proposed were lower than the indicated rates. The rates placed on file today do not contain excessive or inadequate company losses, expenses or profits.

The rating plans also adhere to the guidelines set forth by the Division's managed competition regulation and bulletins in the following ways:

  • Driving record and driving experience are primary rating factors;
  • Banned underwriting and rating factors are not used;
  • Maintenance of urban subsidies across territories; and
  • Maintenance of 10% rate increase cap for high-risk, reckless drivers.

Companies are permitted to use rates accepted by the Division while the outcomes of hearings called for by the Attorney General's Office are pending. Yesterday, Commissioner Burnes scheduled dates for hearings requested by the Attorney General on December 17 th. The schedule is as follows:

January 11 th: Safety Insurance Company
January 14 th: Premier Insurance Company
January 16 th: Hanover Insurance Group
January 18 th: Arbella Insurance Company