With Crashes Down, Massachusetts Lawmakers Want Lower Car Insurance Rates

Lawmakers and the attorney general’s office want a state agency to force car insurance providers to lower rates for Massachusetts customers.

The pandemic has kept many drivers off the road, meaning thousands of fewer accidents in 2020 compared with the previous year and larger profits for insurers, The Eagle-Tribune reported Friday.

State lawmakers have asked the state Division of Insurance to review the premiums, profits and rates of insurers and if appropriate, to mandate insurers refund some of the premiums, the newspaper reported.

“Auto insurance companies have made windfall profits during 2020 because of reduced driving activity. As bills pile up, residents deserve and need additional relief on their insurance premiums,” state Sen. Barry Finegold told the newspaper. He said he and other lawmakers wrote to the insurance agency in December.

A spokesperson for the Division of Insurance told the newspaper it had received the request, and “remains committed to ensuring auto insurance rates are fair and appropriate.”

In January, Attorney General Maura Healey’s office asked the insurance agency to lower car insurance premiums for customers by 25% for all new and current policies.

There were 40,000 fewer accidents last year compared to 2019, according to state Department of Transportation data. The attorney general’s office said liability claims were down 50% and collision claims were down 70% last year compared with the prior year.