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Mass. group supports ban on use of credit scores to calculate auto insurance premiums

State insurance group would like to see a law banning the use of personal data in premium calculations

The Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents testified at the Massachusetts State House late last week, urging lawmakers to make permanent a ban on insurers’ use of socioeconomic data.

According to the Quincy, Massachusetts Patriot Ledger, the MAIA supports auto insurance premiums based solely on drivers’ records, their city of residence and the length of time they’ve been driving.

Most states, unlike Massachusetts, allow credit scores and education level to be considered in insurance premium calculations. And Bay State consumers were close to facing insurers’ scrutiny when former insurance commissioner Nonnie Burnes proposed only a one-year ban on the practice. But, as part of Massachusetts’ elimination of state-established insurance rates, Burnes enacted an indefinite ban on socioeconomic factors in auto insurance.

Still, says the MAIA and public interest group MassPIRG, a ban on insurance companies’ co-optation of personal information is not yet part of state law. With this in mind, the MAIA testified last week at the State House.

Auto insurance companies do not support a change in legislation, arguing that Massachusetts already has some of the most stringent regulation in the country.

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Posted: November 16, 2009

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