Thursday, February 25, 2010

Background on the Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan

In Arbella Mut. Ins. Co. v. Comm'r of Ins., the Supreme Judicial Court addressed several issues relating to the interplay between auto insurers that have recently entered the Massachusetts market and the Massachusetts Automobile Insurance Plan (MAIP), under which high-risk drivers obtain automobile insurance issued by private insurers.

This post will discuss the background of MAIP, and my next posts will discuss the substantive decisions made by the SJC about certain provisions of MAIP.

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 175 § 113H requires the Commissioner of Insurance to create a system whereby auto insurers provide insurance to high-risk drivers (generally drivers who have received a lot of tickets or otherwise shown themselves likely to get into accidents). The Commissioner has a lot of leeway over exactly what the system will be.

MAIP is the current plan enacted by the Commissioner. Under it, insurers are assigned policies issued to high-risk drivers in proportion to each insurer's share of the voluntary market.

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