The public hearings will be held in three different locations throughout the Commonwealth
In response to the Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association’s (MPIUA) proposed rate filing, the Division of Insurance has announced that it will be holding a series of public hearings to consider whether the Commissioner of Insurance should approve this request. On April 12, 2013, the MA FAIR Plan submitted a filing that is seeking an overall rate increase of +6.8 percent for all Homeowners Forms Combines, a +5.2 percent increase for Dwelling and Fire Extended Coverage and no increase for Commercial Fire and Allied Lines. If approved the rate increase would go into effect on July 1, 2013.
Outlined in Docket No. R2013-01, the Division of Insurance will be holding the following public hearings in Massachusetts throughout the month of May:
|May 29th||11:00AM||Barnstable Town Hall, Second Floor Hearing Room. The address is 367 Main Street, Hyannis, MA 02601|
|May 30th||10:00AM||Offices of the Division of Insurance, First Floor Hearing Room 1-E. The address is 1000 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02118.|
|May 31st||10:30AM||Springfield City Hall, Second Floor Hearing Room 220. The address is 36 Court Street, Springfield, MA 01103.|
There are two deadlines for those who are interested in participating in any of these hearings
Anyone interested in making an oral statement at any one of the above hearing may due so after submitting a Notice of Intent to Make a Statement by no later than May 28, 2013. The Notice should be sent to the attention of the Docket Clerk at the Massachusetts Division of Insurance and should include at which location the person intends to make his or her oral statement. The Division of Insurance now also accepts Notices that are sent via electronic mail to Doidocket.Mailbox@state.ma.us
For those interested in appearing and presenting testimony at any one of the scheduled hearings, the Division asks that a petition complying with 211 CMR 101.7 be submitted along with be served on the MPIUA, the State Rating Bureau and any statutory intervenor who has appeared during the most recent hearings on the Mass. FAIR Plan’s rate hearing. All petitions should be submitted within four days after the publication of the Division’s Notice of Hearing, which occurred on Friday May 3, 2012. The following is a further discussion of the procedures relating to discovery conducted by any statutory intervenor.
The State Rating Bureau and any statutory intervenor shall promptly commence discovery pursuant to 211 CMR 101.08 (2). Discovery shall be conducted utilizing the definitions applicable to discovery set out in Massachusetts Superior Court Standing Order 1-09. The parties shall further comply with the principles in that order applicable to requests for the production of documents, within the time frames set out in 211 CMR 101.08 (2)(b). Motions relating to discovery disputes shall be filed in accord with the time permitted under 211 CMR 101.08 (2)(b). General objections to requests for production of documents or things are prohibited. A party responding to a request for production of documents or things must state whether (i) all responsive documents or things in the possession, custody or control of the responding party have been produced; (ii) after diligent search no responsive documents or things are in the possession, custody or control of the responding party; or (iii) the specific objection made to the request.
If a specific objection is made, the response shall describe the nature of all responsive documents or things in the possession, custody or control of the responding party that have not been produced because of the objection. The Commissioner may order a party to produce a privilege log. In its initial written response to a request for production of documents or things, the responding party shall articulate with clarity the scope of the search conducted. If the scope of the search changes during production, the responding party shall articulate with clarity the change in scope. If the scope of the search does not include all locations, including electronic storage locations, where responsive documents or things might reasonably be found, the responding party shall explain why these locations have been excluded from the scope of the search.
A pre-hearing conference has also been scheduled
In addition to the scheduled hearings, the Division will also be holding a pre-hearing conference on the MA FAIR Plan’s Rate Filings. It will be held immediately after the scheduled hearing at the Division of Insurance’s offices in Boston on May 30th. According to the DOI, “The conference will address the topics listed in 211 CMR 101.08 (1) and scheduling matters. All parties, including those who have been given permission to intervene or to participate must attend. The parties who are presenting witnesses or conducting cross-examination shall bring to the conference information about the dates on which they and their witnesses are available for cross-examination.”