Massachusetts Auto Insurers Fined Over Surcharges

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced that four Massachusetts auto insurers settled allegations that they overcharged customers by not removing surcharges after the customers won their surcharge appeal at the Massachusetts Board of Appeal.  The four auto insurers who settled are: The Premier Insurance Company of Massachusetts, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation, Pilgrim Insurance Company and Massachusetts Homeland Insurance Company.  The settlements were filed at Suffolk Superior Court in Boston.

As part of the settlement, the four auto insurers agreed to reimburse all affected customers with interest after conducting an audit going back to 2003 to determine which customers were overcharged.  In addition, the insurers agreed to make a payment to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts of $170,000 with possible additional payments depending on the results of the audits.

In order to reward safe drivers, Massachusetts adopted the Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) which classifies risks reflecting the driving records of insureds.  Safe drivers are charged a lower insurance premium and drivers who caused accidents or received motor vehicle citations are charged more.  SDIP works on a point system.  The auto insurer adds points to its customer if the insured is at fault for a car accident or pays a traffic citation.  If the surcharge is issued due to an at-fault car accident, the insured can appeal the surcharge to the Division of Insurance Board of Appeal.

In the cases involving the four auto insurance companies who settled with the AG’s office, the customers won their surcharge appeal but the insurers didn’t credit the surcharges or didn’t fully credit the surcharges.

If you won a surcharge appeal and think that your insurer has not credited you for the surcharge, you should contact the Attorney General’s office at 1-888-830-6277.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact Massachusetts car accident attorney John Sheehan for a free, no obligation case evaluation.