The Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) this week has asked the state’s Merit Rating Board and the Division of Insurance to investigate GEICO for allegedly failing to report at-fault accident data to the Merit Rating Board, in violation of Massachusetts law and regulation.
MAIA vice president of communications Donna McKenna said that the association has provided the Division of Insurance and the Merit Rating Board with evidence that GEICO has on at least one occasion failed to notify the Merit Rating Board of an at-fault accident involving one of its policyholders.
A company’s failure to report at-fault accident information to the Merit Rating Board could result in a fine of not more than $500 for each violation, according to the MAIA.
The association has requested in a formal complaint that the Division of Insurance and the Merit Rating Board investigate not only the specific case the agents association outlined but also require GEICO to provide proof that, with the exception of this case, GEICO is in complete compliance with the reporting requirements.
The MAIA noted that under “managed competition” some companies have an “accident forgiveness” factor where the policyholder does not receive surcharge points for the first at-fault accident. However, the existence of a forgiveness factor in a company’s rate and form filing does not relieve the company from the responsibility of properly reporting at-fault accident data to the Merit Rating Board.
“A driving record which is accurate and complete is the one true picture of a person’s driving history and policy eligibility. At-fault accident involvement and conviction of moving violations are crucial to every company’s rating and underwriting process, and every company has a legal responsibility to report properly,” said McKenna.
The MAIA is one of the largest state or regional associations of independent insurance agents in the country and represents more than 1,400 independent agencies with over 10,000 employees in Massachusetts.