Commerce Agrees to Change Mass. Auto Club Ads

February 26, 2007

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced that her office and the state’s largest auto insurer, Commerce Insurance, have agreed to new langaue for some its advertisements.

Coakley said Commerce contacted her regarding some of its AAA Automobile Club monthly newsletters to correct what she said were “potentially misleading statements in those advertisements.”

The Commerce advertisements claimed that automobile group members “save an average of 16 percent in total on auto insurance.” The 16 percent figure includes the 11 percent rate reduction for all drivers on average ordered by the insurance commissioner and is not a special deal available only to Commerce customers, according to the attorney general.

Commerce will allow consumers to switch insurers without penalty and will repay any savings those consumers lost by using Commerce rather than another insurance carrier. In addition, Commerce will make a $45,000 payment to the Commonwealth.

“We are pleased that Commerce contacted us and took these affirmative steps,” said Coakley. “Without clear advertising, there is no way that a consumer can make informed decisions. Commerce’s decision to address these issues will help make sure consumers get the information they need.”

Source: Mass. Attorney General

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