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Mass Drivers - My personal - Auto Surcharge Experience (general)

by AC @, Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 21:58
edited by AC, Sunday, November 27, 2016, 10:38

Mass Drivers - My personal - Auto Surcharge Experience

This could happen to you in Massachusetts. Warning. My opinion. You too could find yourself paying over $1800 a year to drive a Corolla. Even with no speeding tickets or moving violations in over 20 years. Just because you decided not to kill an animal that runs in front of you (not killing is Collision if you scrape a curb). Had you killed/murdered it - you are in the clear in Massachusetts. That comes under Comprehensive. Where is the justice of this? How many other states operate like the Commonwealth of Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, if you get into an accident where it is deemed your fault. And after paying your deductible, the cost to repair comes in over $1000 - you will likely get smacked with a surcharge to your yearly insurance bill which could remain fro 6 years. My case, after I paid the $300 deductible, the remaining cost was $1014. I was hit with a $745 a year surcharge - which also says you are no longer a safe diver. You get taken oit of the SDIP (Safe Driver Insurance Program). All insurance companies in Massachusetts then have no choice but to add that surcharge to your insurance bill.

DO NOT GIVE UP - FIGHT IT! GO THROUGH THE APPEAL PROCESS. Those who don't fight this surcharge and any other moving violation ticket for that matter - are just given in. The fact is, many, many if not most of the people who appeal this surcharge actually win. You have to show up.

Below is a complaint I just sent to GEICO after they turned into Massachusetts my July 2016 incident where I slammed on my brakes and swerved slightly to avoid killing an unleashed dog. Mind you, I have had NO speeding tickets or moving violations in over 20 years. The only time I hit another vehicle was a fender bender in the mid 1990's. He was stopped at an off ramp even though there was no stop sign or traffic. YET, instead of giving me a medal for saving a poor dog's life - GEICO turned that incident into Massachusetts authorities as if I was more than 50% responsible. That immediately raised my GEICO insurance over $745 a year - called a 'surcharge' in Massachusetts. Massachusetts voters need to ask their state representatives about this UNFAIR 'surcharge' after an incident is reported to an insurance company. It is to me just another way for the state to get taxes from its citizens. As if paying the deductible isn't enough. This surcharge program may be a good check and balance for those drivers who have numerous accidents - and especially DUI's. But 1 or 2 accidents? I don't think that is fair. These surcharge get piled one upon the other - so my guess is there are thousands of drivers in Massachusetts paying $5 or more thousand a year for auto insurance.

There are only two ways to remove SDIP points from your record before the 6 year mark: contesting an offence and what is called the “Clean in 3” rule. “Clean in 3” has 3 criteria, (1) You have 3 or fewer surchargeable offences on your record in the 5 years preceding your current insurance policy's effective date.


What you should know about appealing an auto surcharge in Massachusetts
June 24, 2013
Catie Smith

Fewer Bay State drivers are appealing auto insurance surcharges for accidents or traffic violations than they have in the past, even though the odds of winning an appeal are favorable, according to a study by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting.

Data provided by the state Insurance Board of Appeals, which rules on traffic accident cases alone, shows that the number of drivers appealing those accidents – and the insurance surcharges that come with them – has declined by 36 percent since 2006, even though just over half of those drivers were winning their appeals. Only about 30% of motorists who appealed their cases were found to be more than 50 percent at fault and subject to a surcharge.

“We are not in a position to speculate as to the reason for the decline in citation appeals,” said Sara Lavoie, with the registry.

The state Insurance Division won’t speculate either, saying only that the division doesn’t track the reasons motorists appeal — or don’t appeal surchargeable accidents.

Some insurance critics, however, suspect the trend may be due to both the costly appeal fees imposed on motorists who want to fight vehicular citations and a lingering recession that has left many drivers with little spare cash to file those appeals.

Those fees, which start at $25 to fight a moving violation before a clerk magistrate and $50 to challenge an insurance surcharge before the Insurance Board of Appeals, can add up quickly. Appealing either decision through the court system can add hundreds more to the tab.


23 AUG 16: Received a postcard from The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Division of Insurance regarding my Appeal (cost $50 to file). Says Current waiting time for a Hearing is 7 months. This nonsense will continue for another 7 months it looks like.

A few weeks later I received a notice to appear for my appeal hearing located in a basement of a Courthouse near Route 93 in Somerville - in late October. A single judge and a GEICO rep were in the room. All I said was, "I never had anything run in front of my car before (other than squirrals, etc). And I thought I did a good job swerving to avoid killing that dog." The jusge then asked the GEICO Rep who much my accident cost. The rep truthfully said $1014 after I paid the $300 deductible.

TWO weeks later, I received a letter from the Mass Insurance Board rescinding my surcharge.

WHAT I LEARNED: No matter what - if you are hit with a Surcharge in Massachusetts - and otherwise have a basically clean record without any (as I do) - or just a few moving violations spaced over years - ALWAYS appeal the surcharge, and attend the 10 minute appeal meeting.

I ALSO have taken a more fairer look on GEICO - whom I was initially very mad at. BUT, after doing research, I found out that the state of Massachusetts either fined GEICO or was threatening to fine them, because they weren't turning in all the surchargeable auto accident cases into the Massachusettes Insurance Board.

IN SHORT - I am sticking with GEICO. And I am going to be much more observant and careful.

TAGS: MA Auto Insurance, MA Auto insurance surcharge, complaint against GEICO, evil Democrats, liberal democrat massachusetts

GEICO, GEICO in Massachusetts, auto insurance surcharge in massachusetts, MA Auto Insurance, MA Auto insurance surcharge, complaint against GEICO


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