Massachusetts’ Attorney General Urges Insurance Chief to Keep Appeals

March 16, 2009

Attorney General Martha Coakley wants the state’s insurance division to maintain the appeals process for drivers who believe they were wrongly assessed surcharges for accidents.

The Board of Appeals is slated to stop hearing new cases April 1 as Insurance Commissioner Nonnie Burnes continues to phase in deregulation of auto insurance.

Burnes argues that because companies now compete for customers, consumers should no longer be allowed to appeal the costly surcharges. She says they should just switch companies if they feel mistreated.

Consumer groups and the insurance lobby say the change will hurt consumers.

Coakley said in a letter Thursday that the Appeals Board should continue accepting new cases while the Legislature considers an alternative process.

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