Mass. Insurance Chief Urges Agents to Seize Opportunity in Auto Deregulation

October 23, 2007

Some Massachusetts insurance agents are anxious about the state’s move to a deregulated auto insurance system but Insurance Commissioner Nonnie Burnes thinks they will fare just fine.

“I have spoken with them [the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents] and I’ve spoken individually with some agents. Some of them are actually eagerly anticipating this. They see it as a real opportunity to be able to offer more and different and better products to their customers. And I hope that people really do see this as an opportunity,” Burnes said in a recent video interview with Insurance Journal.

Burnes thinks some agent, In addition to having more products to sell, will get additional company appointments under the new competitive system. She said some agents without voluntary contracts are already finding insurers willing to sign them up.

She pointed to the experience in New Jersey, where in the first year there were more than 1,000 new agent appointments.

Independent agents in the state enjoy the best market share (86 percent) in the country under the current system and some worry about losing that advantage.

Burnes discusses how agents might benefit from the state’s historic deregulation of its auto insurance system in this excerpt from an exclusive interview, part of The Commissioner series.

In the entire interview with Commissioner Burnes, in addition to auto insurance changes, she discusses coastal property and other issues.

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