Pursuant to M. G. L. c. 175C, §5, a hearing will be take place at 10:00 a.m. on December 19, 2011, at the offices of the Division of Insurance (“Division”), 1000 Washington Street, 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, Dwelling Fire and Extended Coverage and Commercial Fire and Allied Lines Insurance.  The proposed overall rate effects are, for Homeowners Multi-Peril Insurance, +7.2 percent; for Dwelling Fire and Extended Coverage, + 6.0 percent; and for Commercial Fire and Allied Lines 0.0 percent.  The proposed effective date for each filing is December 31, 2011.  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 19 is asked to submit a Notice of Intent to Make a Statement on or before December 16, 2011.  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 23, 2011.  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, no more than four business days after publication of this hearing notice, 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. 

The State Rating Bureau and any statutory intervenor shall promptly commence discovery pursuant to 211 CMR 101.08 (2). 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).  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 conference pursuant to 211 CMR 101.08 (1) will take place at the Division on December 19, 2011, immediately following the conclusion of the public comment portion of the hearing.  The conference will address the topics listed in 211 CMR 101.08 (1) and scheduling matters.  All parties, including those who have been given permission to intervene or to participate must attend.  The parties who are presenting witnesses or conducting cross-examination shall bring to the conference information about the dates on which they and their witnesses are available for cross-examination. 

            All submissions shall reference Docket No. R2011-02 and shall be addressed to the Docket Clerk, Hearings and Appeals, Division of Insurance, 1000 Washington Street, Suite 810, Boston, MA 02118-6200. 

 

 

Dated: November 16, 2011                                        _________________________

                                                                                    Joseph G. Murphy

                                                                                    Commissioner of Insurance