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Insurers Announce Rate Changes

Auto insurance companies are set to release how they plan to change prices under a new "managed competition" system going into effect next year in Massachusetts.

The state's ninth-largest insurer, Hanover, has already unveiled a plan to decrease rates for 70 percent of drivers, but hike rates for the remaining 30 percent.

According to Insurance Commissioner Nonnie Burnes, "managed competition" will benefit consumers, because it institutes competitive pricing.

Companies will likely announce large premium decreases for those with good driving records, according to Stephen D'Amato of the Center for Insurance Research. But, he said, most people with good driving records likely won't see decreases.

"Insurers look to more than just your driving record," D'Amato said. "They look to other factors the correlate with race, education, income and occupation."

He also said that although Commissioner Burnes banned the use of socioeconomic factors to determine rates, companies may use correlating factors that could be discriminatory.

The state legislature is debating a bill that would ban such practices.

This program aired on November 19, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

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