Mass. to Hear High Risk Auto Plan Tomorrow

July 21, 2004

Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Julianne Bowler has scheduled a public hearing for July 22 to hear testimony on proposed rule changes to the state’s high risk auto facility.

The changes were approved by Commonwealth Auto Reinsurers (CAR), the current high risk organization, at Bowler’s urging, in order to convert to an assigned risk type operation. But Bowler must approve them before they go into effect.

Her decision to hold a public hearing signaled that she would not adopt the rule changes as emergency regulations that go into effect immediately. Some of the proposed changes have July 1 effective dates.

However, it does not preclude her deciding after a public hearing to implement rules retroactively under state law, according to the Division of Insurance.

Most but not all within the state’s insurance industry support the move to an assigned risk plan. Chief among the opponents is Commerce Insurance Co., the state’s largest writer of private passenger auto coverage. Commerce exercised its right to request a public hearing and has cited what it believes are legal problems with the conversion plan.

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