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Urban Drivers At Risk Of Losing Insurance Under Managed Competition

By Meghna Chakrabarti (The Third Rail)

Peter Gatsoulis is a self-employed computer consultant. He lives in Roxbury. One day, earlier this month, Gatsoulis got a call from his auto insurance agent.

“They told me that I’d have to go in,” Gatsoulis says. “And have to physically be there and reinstate the policies.”

Gatsoulis has never had to do that before. His insurance has always been automatically renewed.

“They told me that I would have to be there because if I wasn’t there my insurance policy would be dropped. It would be canceled.”

Canceled, but for no apparent reason. Gatsoulis says he and his wife have clean driving records. He says they’ve been faithful customers to their insurance company.

“I was like, ‘Hold it a second. I’ve been with you since 1994. That’s a pretty long time. Why all of the sudden the change? I don’t understand this.’”

It could be because he lives in Roxbury. The Urban Insurance Agents of Massachusetts, a trade association, and several Boston legislators, say that over the next year some 12,000 drivers every month - drivers like Gatsoulis who live mostly in urban or inner-city areas - are at risk of non-renewal because of what many agents are calling the “unintended consequences” of auto-insurance deregulation, also known as managed competition.

Listen and read more on the story here, at wbur.org.

This program aired on April 24, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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