Massachusetts state Senate to look into insurance rate hikes

Massachusetts to investigate insurance rate hikes.

Earlier this month, the chairman of the Massachusetts state Senate Post Audit and Oversight Committee called for the state's Division of Insurance to reconsider the substantial rate increases that were previously granted to two of the state's largest home insurance providers, Mapfre USA and Safety Insurance Co. This follows a recent analysis from Attorney General Maura Healey's office, which found that the 9 percent insurance rate increase on customers were excessive.

The numbers provided by Healey's office, which were cited in Senator Michael J. Barrett's letter to Insurance Commissioner Daniel Judson, found that Mapfre actually should have lowered rates based on its losses and profits in recent years, while Safety Insurance's rates should not have gone up more than 3 percent. Senator Barrett said that these rate increases deserve further scrutiny and public meetings, something that consumers have been calling for in recent months.

"We need a formal, serious public consideration of the new rates," Barrett said in a public statement. "This is a question now of putting at ease legitimate concerns that something went off the rails in this particular case."

Both Mapfre and Safety Insurance have yet to publicly respond to Attorney General Healey's findings.

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