Central Insurance Returns to Mass. Commercial Auto Market

July 27, 2007

Central Insurance is re-entering the Massachusetts commercial auto insurance marketplace after a 17-year absence.

Since 1990, Central has been a commercial lines only insurer in Massachusetts, writing primarily commercial package, umbrella and workers’ compensation, but not auto.

Now agents who represent the insurer in the Bay State will be able to sell commercial auto policies like the agents in the other Northeast states of New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey where Central does business from its Boston office.

“The Massachusetts commercial auto system has been significantly improved over the years,” Central’s Regional Vice President James F. Glasser stated. “Competitive rating, the advent of a higher ‘dirty’ rate for business ceded to Commonwealth Auto Reinsurers (CAR), and the institution of the Limited Servicing Carrier program by CAR have all contributed to a healthy and profitable market statewide.”

Glasser told Insurance Journal the decision to re-enter commercial auto is unrelated to the recent decision by Commission Nonnie Burnes to allow some competitive pricing in private passenger auto. Central does not now write private passenger auto in Massachusetts and has no plans to do so.

Central offers agents online quoting and policy issuance for all lines of business. This feature will now be available for the new Massachusetts commercial auto program.

Central also announced a two-tier rating program utilizing both Central Mutual and All America Insurance Companies, a simplified territorial definition and experience rating plan, and coverage extensions for the Massachusetts commercial auto business.

Glasser said the Central staff in its Northeast office in Boston already handles commercial auto business for its other states so “we’re ready to go.”

Central Insurance Companies writes personal and commercial property and casualty insurance exclusively through independent insurance agents in 18 states. The home office is located in Van Wert, Ohio, and the companies operate through four regional offices in Dallas, Atlanta, Boston and Van Wert. The companies enjoy an A+ (Superior) A. M. Best rating.

At the beginning of this year, Drive Commercial Auto, part of The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies, also began selling commercial auto insurance in Massachusetts.

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