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Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Rating Initiative (2012)

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The Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Rating Initiative did not make the November 6, 2012 general election ballot in the state of Massachusetts as an initiated state statute. The measure was filed by Francis A. Mancini and was assigned initiative number 11-18.[1]

The measure was proposed to stop insurance companies from using socio-economic factors such as credit scores, occupation, or education level in underwriting and rating of private passenger automobile insurance. However, efforts were dropped when supporters began working with legislators on a similar bill.[2]

Support

Supporters

  • Francis Mancini, president of the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents, submitted the measure. Mancini stated that legislation was possible for this proposal at the time, but he stated: "While we remain focused on passing this important bill through the legislative process, we felt it was essential to keep all avenues open to us"[3]

Arguments

  • According to Mancini, when arguing against using these socio-economic factors: “Using these factors to set auto rates is simply unfair, discriminatory, and unreliable. Two people living in the same neighborhood with identical driving records should not be charged different rates because one lost their job or fell behind on their medical bills.”[3]

Path to the ballot

According to initiative law in Massachusetts, each of the ten original signers of the proposed measure must obtain certificates of voter registration from the board of registrars or election commission in the city or town where they are registered voters. The certificate of voter registration must be signed by at least three registrars. These certificates and the original petition must then be submitted to the Massachusetts Attorney General.

Once the petition is found acceptable, the Attorney general will prepare a summary and return it and the petition to the petitioners, who must file the petition and summary with the Massachusetts Secretary of State. Once that is submitted, petitions are printed and circulation can begin.

Backers must then collect 68,911 signatures by the December 7, 2011 petition drive deadline. If those signatures are deemed valid, the proposed law is then sent to the Massachusetts General Assembly for consideration.

If the general assembly does not choose to make the proposal a law, supporters must then gather additional signatures to obtain ballot access. Those signatures must be obtained from about 1/2 of 1% of voters who voted in the last governor election and supporters must submit them to local clerks.

Validated signatures must then be turned in by the first Wednesday of July to the Massachusetts Secretary of State's office. Since the deadline falls on a national holiday, July 4, that deadline could be either July 3 or 5.[4]

Signature gathering

Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents Francis Mancini stated about the signature gathering effort: “We are going forward with gathering of our signatures...We have 1,400 member agencies all over the state. So that’s going to be our army of signature gatherers."[3]

Possible legislative action

The group in favor of the measure is also working with legislators in the state to enact the measure into a law automatically in legislative session. According to Mancini, a hearing on a legislative bill has been scheduled for Oct. 8. Mancini stated: “We have about a third of the whole legislature, the house and the senate combined, already co-sponsoring the bill. This issue has a great deal of support.”[3]

Initiative dropped

The initiative was dropped by supporters after reports surfaced that those in favor of the measure began working with a legislative committee to review the issue.[5]

See also

Additional reading

References