For many years, Massachusetts has operated under regulations that set prices for automobile insurance in the state. Beginning this week, consumers will renew policies under new "managed competition" regulations, 211 CMR 79, for policies effective on or after April 1, 2008. Under the new scheme, insurers can set their own rates (although they will still need to be approved by the Division of Insurance).
This means that consumers may want to shop around for the best rate. The Division of Insurance has a new website, InsureMass, that helps people do just that. The site "shows consumers the range of prices and discounts they may qualify for and tells them how to contact insurance companies and agents directly for quotes. Consumers can easily generate a list of sample premiums by providing their zip code, number of years licensed, the type of vehicle they drive, their driving records and coverage levels." "You will be asked 6 basic questions in order to gather facts that all insurers consider when calculating automobile insurance rates. The tool will use this information to produce a list of sample premiums from each company."
More information on the new automobile insurance rules is available at Mass. Law About Automobile Insurance.