Industry Group Airs New Ads to Support Auto Reforms in Mass.

May 1, 2006

The insurance industry-backed advocacy group, Fairness for Good Drivers, has released new television and radio ads focusing on what the group says is a lack of fairness and choice in the Massachusetts auto insurance system as the Legislature is about to consider new legislation to address the problem.

“As the Legislature begins consideration of new legislation to fix the auto insurance system in Massachusetts, it is a good time to remind good drivers just how unfair it is for them and how little choice they have getting coverage. We need more competition and more choice. Right now neither one exists in Massachusetts,” said James Harrington, a spokesman for Fairness for Good Drivers.

Recently, Senate President Robert Travaglini (D-Boston) said it was “likely” that state lawmakers would consider auto insurance reform system this session.

The ads, which begin today on television and radio, can be viewed at .

Currently, 80 percent of Massachusetts drivers pay too much for their auto insurance so the remaining 20 percent can be subsidized and receive below-cost coverage, according to Harrington’s group.

In addition, only 19 companies are actively doing business in Massachusetts, while approximately 35 insurers have left the state or gone out of business over the last 15 years. Some of the best-known national companies including Progressive, GEICO, State Farm, Allstate and Nationwide do not write private passeger auto business in Massachusetts. By comparison other states typically have more than 100 companies offering auto insurance coverage and vigorous price competition, according to the group.

The group advocates changes to the state’s unique rate-setting process where the state annually sets the rates for all insurers and its one-of-a-kind current system for insuring so-called high risk drivers.

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