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Independent Insurance Agent

Sullivan Insurance
MA Auto Reform 2008



updated 09/12/2008


MA Auto Insurance Reform 2008 is well underway for your car insurance!  Our clients save hundreds of dollars on their Masscahusetts auto insurance in 2008 - why aren't you?  Now more than ever you need to have a detailed review of your ALL your insurance (Home Insurance, Auto Insurance, Motorcycle Insurance, Umbrella Insurance, Life Insurance, and any other insurance coverage you may have), as carriers are now offering account discounts on your AUTO POLICY for having your home & auto with the same carrier!



It’s a whole NEW Ball Game!


Had your Car Insurance Review for 2008?  Now is the time for a complete, NO OBLIGATOIN insurance coverage & DISCOUNT Review – with access to over 42 carriers!  Contact the agency TODAY for your review appointment  find out what you may be missing!


Below are excerpts from a letter we sent out to all our MA clients in January 2008 and again in May 2008:


This 2008 MA Auto Insurance reform package has two major components:


1.          Managed competition component meaning companies doing business in the Massachusetts auto insurance market will be competing for your car insurance business based on premiums and coverage options but under close scrutiny from the Commission of Insurance.  (See MA Auto Reform FAQ) 


2.          MAIP (Massachusetts Assigned Insurance Plan - FAQ) the second component is how high risk drivers will be handled.  Under the plan, high risk drivers will no longer be able to choose their auto insurance carrier. Instead, high risk drivers will be randomly assigned an auto insurance carrier under an assigned risk plan called the Massachusetts Assigned Insurance Plan (MAIP). However you will still do business with your agent who will have direct access to the MAIP. Note that the high risk driver/MAIP component will be phased in over a couple of years and the impact to high risk drivers will be minimal in the first year.


Any auto insurance policy that renews between 01/01/2008 and 03/31/2008 WILL NOT be affected by these new changes until your renewal in 2009. In waiting until 2009 for these changes, we believe you are in a favorable position because:


·          Your 2008 auto Insurance policy will renew with an state wide average rate decrease of 11.7% across all driver categories and SDIP points as decided by the Commission of Insurance (high point/step drivers may see increase in premium).

·          We anticipate a lot of start up bugs in this new system, which should be worked out by the time your auto insurance policy renews in the 1st quarter of 2009.

·          There is a potential for an up to 10% rate increase under the new plan for high risk drivers (Consumer Alert:  penalty could be waived). 


Rest assured, when it comes time for your auto insurance policy to renew under this new plan, Sullivan Insurance will continue to offer you outstanding insurance options (we have access to OVER 40 Insurance Carriers through our membership in ISNE). The new options offered may be confusing (see our website for any options or updates), but you can feel confident knowing that our experienced team is ready to help you understand your auto insurance choices in Massachusetts and also with new changes in New Hampshire.


We’ve heard a great deal recently about about this new auto insurance reform-- news reports, advertisements, political rhetoric.  We have completed a review of the initial competitive rate filings for of the 18 private passenger automobile insurers for policies which will be effective on or after April 1, 2008.  Our review has revealed a number of new and creative optional coverages including: (not all carriers will have every coverage/discount - every carrier filed their own creative packages and discounts)


Disappearing Collision

Airbag Mechanical Failure

Auto Loan/Lease Gap Coverage

Accident Forgiveness

Pet Injury Coverage

Seatbelt/Airbag Death Benefit

Hybrid Vehicle Discount

Advanced Driver Training Discount

Loyalty/Renewal Discount

Multi-Line/Policy Credit

Good Student/Student away Discount

Accident/Violation Foregiveness



IMPORTANT NOTE: All of the rates, discounts, rules and endorsements have been filed and are under review by the Insurance Division.


Here is what some of the more notable carriers have filed (click on any of the links below):


Commerce Insurance

Safety Insurance:  Insurance Discounts offered     New Coverage Options Combined Bill (auto & home)   Online Payments         Other Products Offered

Hanover Insurance:  MA Auto Brochure    New Declaration Page

Plymouth Rock 


Quincy Mutual

NOTE:  although we do have other carrier information, we have decided not to list them here until they have a press release(s) concerning their 2008 rate filing or updated  information through their own website.  We don't want to get this information wrong.  As of today, these are the only insurance companies in Massachusetts that have actively listed their Auto Changes online.  TALK ABOUT CONFUSING!  Make sure your agent goes through ALL the options available from ALL MA Insurance carriers - you may just find more advance coverage and better discounts with an insurance company that you don't currently have!

Sullivan Insurance & Financial offers car insurance throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire, specializing in the following Massachusetts communities:  Haverhill and Bradford Massachusetts, Groveland, Georgetown, North Andover, Andover, West Newbury, Byfield, Boxford, Merrimack, Methuen, Lawrence, Amesbury, Rowely, Newburyport, Salisbury and Newbury Massachusetts.  Don't see your community here?  Let us know as we write auto and home insurance as far away as the Cape, out to the Berkshires, in Boston, South of Boston, and for many clients who take their vehicles to Florida for the winter!  If we can help you and your family, please contact the agency today! 

According to the "The Standard, New England's Insurance Weekly", "...some drivers slated for decreases of more than 20% and the vast majority of the population receiving lower premiums. The very good news is that every company filed for an average rate decrease," said Commissioner of Insurance Nonnie S. Burnes during a conference call with reporters. However, she added, "We really don't want people focusing on the average. We're seeing a much more sophisticated and granular approach to developing auto insurance rates."

"We're seeing a wide range of rates and some very clever products that are both designed to keep their customers and benefits that will allow people to control their own rates," Burnes said. "There are very substantial reductions for good drivers and we're seeing things that are real potential benefits to urban drivers."

All that said, some Massachusetts auto drivers (with accidents, speeding tickets and other incidents) may see an increase in their 2008 auto premium.  Massachusetts insurance companies are rewarding good drivers and charging not so good drivers. 

Set out below is a calendar of events for the introduction of managed competition.

November 19, 2008 


Insurers make initial rate filings under managed competition.  Insurers writing under “one percent of the market” may either adopt the AIB rate filing or make their own rate filing.

November 27, 2008


Last day for insurers to amend their initial rate filings.


NOTE:  Rate filings made by the November deadline must remain in effect for at least the period April 1, 2008 to April 30, 2008, (See February 15, 2008 below).

January 3, 2008



End of review period (45 days) for the Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner to review rate filings made in November.


NOTE:  If a hearing on a rate filing is initiated, the 45-day review period may be extended for an additional period not to exceed 45 days (February 17).

The competitive rating statute provides the Insurance Commissioner broad authority as to timeframe for initiating a hearing on a rate filing. A hearing can be called at any time before the effective date of a filing with ten (10) days notice.


February 15, 2008




Rate filings with effective dates on or after May 1, 2008, may be filed with the DOI anytime after this date.  Insurers are allowed to make new rate filings at any time, with new effective dates.  There are no requirements that a rate filing be in effect for any specific time period.

April 1, 2008



Effective date of initial rate filings.  Also the effective date for the Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan (MAIP) rate filing for all business written in the MAIP and ceded to CAR (these rates remain in effect until March 31, 2009).


NOTE:  Policyholders written through the MAIP or ceded to CAR will pay the lower of  either the MAIP rate or the rate of the insurer writing the risk.

May 1, 2008



Earliest effective date for rate filings made after February 15, 2008.

Sullivan Insurance of Haverhill and Bradford Massachusetts has been working hard for over 25 years to ensure our clients have more options than any other local insurance agents - access to over 40 insurance carrier!  As you can see, at Sullivan Insurance we have a broad view of the market, so our clients will be protected from the price & coverage war!  We also have a NEW 25 point "Needs Assement" that will help all our clients (new & existing) to identify any coverage or protection issues unique to their needs - call/e-mail the agency for an agent to go through the assessment TODAY to make sure you are fully covered and are receiving all the discounts available to you and your family.

Although a lot of this information focuses on Massachusetts auto, we also offer auto insurance (as well as all other lines of insurance) throughout New Hampshire, specifically in the following communities:  Plaistow, Atkinson, Salem NH, Hampstead, Newton, Kingston, East Kingston, Seabrook, Kensington, East Hampstead, Derry, East Derry, Windham, Londonderry, Pelham, Sandown, and Danville New Hampshire - all of Rockingham County.  We insure all over New Hampshire - as far north as Pittsburg, out the the coast of NH, and the Lakes Region!  Find out how we can insure your primary home or secondary, seasonal home or cottage!

If you have ANY  questions about your Massachusetts car insurance or your New Hampshire car insurance, please don’t hesitate to contact the agency and speak with anyone of our licensed insurance agents.  Rest assured we are doing everything we can to protect and serve our clients.  Please visit our website for more updates at

Auto Reform in the News:

Read selected articles from area newspapers


Helpful Links:

Browse web resources for you and your customer



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WOW! I never write reviews, but I just had to write this one - this agent was amazing. Met with me in a beautiful conference room with large screen TV as their computer - it made things so easy. They explained my insurance, line by line and provided multiple quotes at once. My old agent never explained any of my insurance - what a refreshing way to buy insurance. They even provided a reminder service to me for free for my inspection sticker, registration and license renewals (I had gottend a ticket for an expired inspection - but never again). I Highly recommend this agent to anyone (and I drove almost an hour to meet with them)! 5+ Star by any measure.