Patrick-Murray Administration's Division of Insurance Announces Green Mountain Insurance as 12th New Auto Insurer since Start of Managed Competition
Total number of companies stands at 31; Administration continues efforts to bring choice in companies, coverage and cost to consumers
The addition of Green Mountain means that 31 companies will be selling auto insurance in Massachusetts, up from 19 before Governor Deval Patrick reformed the state's auto insurance system and introduced competition into the marketplace.
"We are pleased that yet another company has decided to come to Massachusetts and take advantage of the new competitive marketplace that has brought consumers choice in companies, coverage and cost," said Joseph G. Murphy, the Commissioner of the Division of Insurance. "We continue discussions with other carriers that are considering also moving into Massachusetts."
Since the start of 2008, drivers have saved over $470 million on auto insurance premiums, according to year-end, total, premium-written information compiled by the Division of Insurance. In June of this year, the national insurance marketplace Website InsWeb Corp. said Massachusetts auto insurance rates were the most affordable in the country based on percentage of median income spent on car insurance.
The elimination of the old "fix-and-establish" system, where rates were set by the Division of Insurance, created a market that allows drivers for the first time in three decades to shop for insurance that fits that needs. Along with lower premiums, many drivers have seen other benefits - including "accident forgiveness" and a decline from six to three years in premium increases associated with at-fault accidents or moving violations.
Along with creating a new range of consumer benefits, the introduction of managed competition has also delivered hundreds of new jobs in Massachusetts. Liberty Mutual opened a new facility in Springfield in 2008, and is in the process of adding 300 new jobs. Progressive hired 140 new employees when it entered the market, with salaries ranging from $42,000 to $125,000. Additionally, Peerless is expected to add 100 jobs in the state by the end of the year, including 60 appraiser positions.
"Managed competition has opened up the marketplace and given consumers significantly more benefits as companies have fought for their business," said Barbara Anthony, the Undersecretary of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. "We continue to encourage drivers to shop around and make sure they are realizing the best coverage at the best price to meet their needs."
Green Mountain Insurance Company is part of Concord Group Insurance, which serves Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. Concord Group has been writing insurance in Massachusetts for nearly 20 years for homeowners, umbrella, and other types of insurance. Concord Group has nearly 10,000 customers in Massachusetts and approximately 200,000 customers throughout New England. The company recently was awarded the Overall Excellence Award by the New Hampshire Professional Independent Agent's Association.
The Division of Insurance is an agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. Follow the Office at www.mass.gov/consumer, its Consumer Connections Blog and at its Twitter feed, @Mass_Consumer.