The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office is seeking to institute new rules aimed at protecting consumers from the perils of buying auto insurance.
We all expect our insurance to be there in the event that we are involved in a serious or fatal Massachusetts car accident. Unfortunately, auto insurance companies frequently look out for their own interests, at the expense of consumers. The advent of insurance available for purchase from websites, without the assistance of a knowledgeable insurance agent, has further compounded the issue. Progressive insurance has been under significant fire for offering low rates that consumer advocates contend includes coverage that falls short of providing adequate protection in the event of an accident.
Consulting with an experienced Boston injury lawyer can help protect your rights when dealing with an insurance company in the wake of a car accident in Boston or the surrounding area. Insurance companies have a moral and legal obligation to treat customers in a fair manner. When an insurance company operates in bad faith, it can and should be held responsible.
The new measure aims to “increase the level of transparency, enhance policy holders’ ability to shop effectively for policies, and better prevent deceptive practices by insurance companies,” according to the Attorney General’s Office.
Not surprisingly, the insurance industry claims additional safeguards are unnecessary.
The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies contends the new regulations are unjustified.
“The sweeping set of new regulations put forward by Attorney General Martha Coakley are unnecessary and ill-advised, to say the least,” spokesman Paul Tetrault said. “Consumers are well protected by existing laws and regulations.”
According to the Attorney General’s Office, the new regulations would:
-Protect consumers from insurance companies that use discriminatory practices.
-Require ratings practices to be fair and transparent.
-Prevent misleading advertisements.
-Ensure consumers are made aware of discounts.
-Protect against policy cancellation or non-renewal without adequate notice.
-Guard against unfair interest rates on installment plans.
-Require proper reporting of at-fault reversals.
-Prevent agents from steering consumers to certain insurers based on commissions.
-Require insurers to promptly reply after a claim is filed.