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Patrick Parks Romney's Auto Insurance Plan

Jan 19, 2007


The Patrick administration has suspended a controversial change to the state's auto insurance system initiated just weeks before former Gov. Mitt Romney left office.

Patrick's acting insurance commissioner, Joseph Murphy, formally halted implementation of Romney's assigned-risk plan, which sought to change the way drivers with shaky records are treated by insurance companies.

"I have taken this action in order to consider the impact of the . . . change and both the short- and long-term implications of those rules on the Massachusetts private passenger automobile market," Murphy said.

Romney's plan would have required that drivers with poor records be assigned to individual companies rather than lumped in a pool where their losses are shared.

A spokesman said Patrick will launch a task force to study potential reforms in the auto insurance system over the next two months.

Insurance reform is expected to be a major issue on Beacon Hill during the upcoming legislative session. The state's insurance companies have already begun intense lobbying efforts, with each of the four major companies making maximum $50,000 donations to Patrick's inaugural celebrations.

Insurance industry officials had said Romney's assigned-risk plan would help eliminate unfairness and prevent more insurers from leaving the state.

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(c) 2007 Boston Herald. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

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