AG Coakley concerned with rate plan

John O'Brien Mar. 27, 2007, 1:00pm


BOSTON - Cape Cod homeowners should expect a 25 percent increase in homeowners insurance rates for the second year in a row, and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley isn't happy about it.

The FAIR Plan, the area's insurer of last resort that is run by the state's insurance companies, applied for the hike, which needs to be approved by the state insurance commissioner July 1.

"It is important that all homeowners in Massachusetts have access to insurance that will provide adequate coverage in the event of a natural disaster or other disaster," Coakley said. "FAIR Plan's proposed increases would place an unreasonable burden on consumers. My office is committed to carefully reviewing this rate filing and advocating for consumers against any unjustified increases by the industry."

Coakley is still fighting last year's increase, having appealed it to the state's Supreme Court.

Estimates say 66,000 residents in South Shore and southeastern Massachusetts will be affected by the raise. The Fair Plan insures 40 percent of homeowners in the areas.

The FAIR Plan began in 2004 when companies stopped renewing policies in those areas. According to a report in the Cape Cod Times, the average homeowner pays $1,576 a year. FAIR Plan's raise would increase that number by $394.

In Fall River, 2,000 homeowners would see an increase of only 8 percent. In Bristol County, the 5,300 homeowners not living in the Fall River and New Bedford areas would see an increase of 13 percent.

The areas of Cape and Islands, New Bedford and Plymouth County (excluding Broxton) will be subject to the 25-percent increase. Coakley said there will be 59,600 affected homeowners in those areas.

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