Massachusetts was an appropriate location for a primary attempt for auto insurance reform. Because of high personal injury claim frequency and high average payments per claim, their state continues to be plagued for a long time with expensive automobile coverage. Opinions differ as to why this is the truth, but it is assumed how the costs of Massachusetts automobile insurance escalated because of obvious physical deficiencies .
Road systems are poorly designed, dangerous, and perhaps obsolete. Unpredictable Colonial weather conditions make driving treacherous rates for all on the better of highways. Massachusetts daily generates massive volumes of traffic, especially during wintertime, when most commuting happens in darkness. Superimposed upon unusually unsafe driving conditions will be the insistence of Detroit to make overpowered and uncrashworthy automobiles unsuited to safeguard occupants from the dangers due to collisions even at low speeds. High insurance costs were also partly due to spotty law enforcement. The proportion of Massachusetts drivers found guilty of moving traffic violations remained the lowest in the country. The Massachusetts conviction rate was one-sixth that relating to the Pacific coast states for corresponding years throughout the late 1960s.
Besides factors incidentally related to insurance, the system of compulsory insurance that existed in Massachusetts quotes since 1927 encouraged personal injury claims. Massachusetts compulsory insurance liability law never was accompanied by a compulsory property damage law. This meant that damage to property claims were frequently submitted disguised as personal injury states force away the possible deficiency of coverage to pay for the repair bill for a damaged automobile. This practice was common that, when insurance reform was initially being considered, the phe-nomenon of damage to property claims filed as personal injury claims was acknowledged as a significant rating factor by every directory Bay State insurance. Because of the rewards and low personal likelihood of filing such fictitious claims, this custom overlapped into cases which were absolutely fraudulent.
But the principal aspect in the unusually steeply-priced car insurance in Massachusetts would be a statute that handed to the commissioner of insurance the power to set rates as long as he deemed them just, reasonable, adequate, and nondiscriminatory. Uniform rate-setting led to the reduction of any market-place competition one of the insurers. By law, no insurance provider was able to sell compulsory automobile insurance at rates below those set through the commissioner. This discouraged a few of the better managed companies from operating in Massachusetts.
The system seemed to be frustrating and slow. In certain counties it took three to four years to get a jury trial. Nor did the companies do anything whatsoever to expedite claim payment by efficient handling, complaining instead in regards to the sheer volume. From the late 1960s, it had been apparent that a drastic overhaul of car insurance was needed. It was using this place to start that no-fault auto insurance began its journey from abstract principle to political reality.
It began if the Keeton-OConnell plan stumbled on the interest of Representative Michael Dukakis, who been a former student of Robert Keeton at Harvard Law School. Dukakis arranged a meeting with Keeton to go over the program; as well as the movement for that passage of Massachusetts no-fault was arrived. Within weeks, it had been filed by Dukakis within the Massachusetts Legislature and being considered by way of a joint legislative committee on auto insurance. Regardless of the fact that the committee recommended against it, in August, 1967, the Keeton-OConnell plan was taken to the ground with the Massachusetts House of Representatives, the low branch of the Massachusetts Leg-islature, for any vote. To the surprise of everybody, including Dukakis, the bill was passed by your house and provided for the Massachusetts Senate for concurrence. Panic emerge, as well as the insurance industry and the bar, acting in concert, exerted their influence on the Senate, urging it to defeat the master plan.