Mass FAIR Plans Drops Rates

The Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association (FAIR Plan) will lower insurance premiums by an average of 0.72 percent, the Attorney General’s office said.

The FAIR Plan had originally proposed increasing homeowners’ insurance rates by an average of 2.2 percent. That proposal, submitted in October, included 10 percent rate increases for New Bedford, Lawrence, Lowell, Newton, Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke, parts of Worcester and Bristol County, as well as a 2.4 percent increase in rates for more than 70,000 Cape Cod and other coastal homeowners.

Attorney General Martha Coakley challenged the proposed rate increases last year. The new rates were reached after negotiations with Coakley’s office.

“We believe this settlement protects consumers from the unwarranted rate increases sought by the industry,” Coakley said. “In these tough economic times, it’s important that consumers not be overcharged for insurance.”

The new rates include no increases for Cape Cod, Fall River, Lynn, Cambridge, Somerville, Hampshire, Newton, Franklin, Berkshire, Chicopee, and Holyoke. Meanwhile, New Bedford, Lawrence, Lowell, Springfield and Worcester will see increases of 5 percent.