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Keep Your Eye on the Road for Changes in Massachusetts Auto Insurance Law

The state of Massachusetts is joining a majority of the rest of the country’s states in setting up rules for assigning high-risk drivers to basic auto policies; a plan for assigning liability insurance is rumbling through various levels of approval in the New England state.

The state’s insurance commissioner apparently got clearance from state courts to pursue a change in Massachusetts auto insurance law by setting up a system where drivers that nobody wants to insure are doled out on a more equitable basis.

More equitable, according to state officials. But, others say there are worse problems in Massachusetts auto insurance law, from the viewpoint of the consumers who will have less choices about how to set up coverage for themselves.

No matter where you live, you need basic liability auto insurance. It’s not optional. But where you get that insurance is usually up to the driver.

So it’s getting some residents riled up. Anyone with a bad driving record will have to check their state auto insurance policy to see if there are conditions attached; some may not be able to take part in discounts, according to Massachusetts auto insurance consumer advocates.

And, according to a recent Boston Globe article, the state’s Attorney General gave some insight into the economics of Massachusetts auto insurance law, saying the state may have overcharged drivers to the tune of 1 billion dollars.

That’s as the “assigned risk policy” pushed by some state officials made its way toward becoming law, after setbacks in the courts in previous years.

The Globe article says the plan could end up re-assigning up to 1 million drivers.

State officials have said Massachusetts auto insurance providers have “fled” the state previously, because they felt they were getting too many high-risk drivers assigned to them.

A re-assignment plan, then, is an attempt to entice companies to accept some customers who, due to complicated spreadsheet calculations, they nay not want, but if the state makes you get coverage, there has to be some way to provide it.

The good news, for consumers with less than stellar driving records, would be that a re-assignment plan for Massachusetts state auto insurance would keep more companies, and more options, in the fold.

The bad news: high-risk drivers might not be able to take advantage of the choices, as companies might streamline the policy approval process by stripping away options some drivers may now take for granted.

Either way, time will tell if the plan to re-assign Massachusetts drivers to new liability auto insurance plans will come to fruition; the Globe report said it may have to do with who wins the November election.

So, between then and now, state residents should brush up on the ins and outs of Massachusetts car insurance law, to keep saving dollars on their necessary coverage when changes in auto insurance policy administration put new “house rules” into play, upsetting the fruit basket for drivers across the state.

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