The Association says GEICO not reporting Accident Info to the State’s Merit Rating Board
The Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents has sent a request to both the Merit Rating Board and the Division of Insurance requesting that these entities investigate GEICO. The MAIA says that the insurance carrier is violating Massachusetts law by failing to report at-fault accident data to the Merit Rating Board (MRB).
“MAIA has provided the DOI and the MRB with evidence that GEICO has on at least one occasion failed to notify the MRB of an at-fault accident involving one of its policyholders,” says Donna McKenna, MAIA’s Vice President of Communications. “A company’s failure to report at-fault accident information to the MRB could result in a fine of not more than $500 for each violation. MAIA has requested that the DOI and the MRB investigate not only the specific case the agents association outlined but also require GEICO to provide proof that, with the exception of this case, GEICO is in complete compliance with the reporting requirements.”
Under the prior fixed-and-established market, Massachusetts law required that insurance companies apply specific surcharges for certain accidents and traffic violations and apply specific credits for clean driving records. This system of surcharges and credits is an integral part of the Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP).
McKenna notes that under the new system known as “Managed Competition,” some companies now include an “accident forgiveness” factor in which the policyholder is forgiven their first accident and as such does not receive any surcharge points. The existence of this forgiveness factor however, counters McKenna, does not relieve an insurer from the responsibility it has to report at-fault accident data to the Merit Rating Board.
“A driving record which is accurate and complete is the one true picture of a person’s driving history and policy eligibility. At-fault accident involvement and conviction of moving violations are crucial to every company’s rating and underwriting process, and every company has a legal responsibility to report properly,” concludes McKenna.