Boston Mayor Opposes Romney Auto Insurance Plan

July 19, 2005

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has sent letters to both Senate President Robert Travaglini and House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi asking for their support in opposing Governor Mitt Romney’s plan to reform auto insurance rates.

“While I applaud the Governor for attempting to solve a difficult problem, this legislation as presented misses the mark and as stated could have very negative consequences for many people in urban areas,” Menino wrote.

The Romney Administration is promoting its reforms as a way to reward good drivers and bring more competition into the marketplace.

Menino expressed concern that Romney’s plan would permit insurers more leeway in what criteria they use to rate drivers and he said he feels the new legislation does not contain safeguards to protect good drivers, particularly in urban areas.

He said that that the use of more variables such as home ownership and marital status would decrease the effect one’s driving record had on the overall equation and would therefore be unfair.

“Our analysis seems to indicate that under this new plan many Step 9 drivers … would in fact see an increase in their premiums in certain areas of the City of Boston,” Menino wrote. Step 9 is the classification for those with the best driving records.

Menino said he would like the opportunity to work with legislators on a more effective solution.

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