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MASS. AG SEEKS AUTO RATE CUT:

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Following Up On His Previous Assertion That Auto Insurance In The State Is Too Profitable, Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly Has Called For A 6.2 Percent Cut In Private Passenger Auto Insurance Rates For Next Year. Reilly’s Proposal, Part Of The Annual Process Under Which The Insurance Commissioner Sets Rates, Opens A Wide Gap With The Insurers And Agents, Whose Recommendations Equal A Combined 9.3 Percent Rate Hike. The State Rating Bureau (SRB) Has Advised That A Slight One Percent Increase Is Warranted. According To Reilly, The Industry’s Combined Filing Would Boost The Average Premium By About $100, While His Would Reduce It By About $60. The Automobile Insurers Bureau Had Originally Asked For An Average Increase Of 5.8 Percent For Insurers But That Figure Did Not Reflect The Request By Agents For A 32 Percent Jump In Average Commission From $114 To $151. Reilly’s Recommendation Comes About A Month After His Office Told Insurance Commissioner Julianne Bowler That Profits In Auto Insurance Have Been Too Generous. Peter Leight, Assistant Attorney General, Said At Last Month’s Opening Hearing That Of The $240 Million Sought By The Insurers In Their Original 5.8 Percent Filing, Half Is Profit. “The Insurers’ Added Profit Is Completely Unjustified,” He Said. Bowler Must Issue Her Decision By Dec. 15.


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