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CEI Comments on Resignation of Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Burnes

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CEI Comments on Resignation of Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Burnes

'Commissioner Burnes Did a Great Job.'

Washington,
D.C., September 11, 2009

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—A Senior Fellow at the Competitive
Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank, commented today on the
announcement that Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Nonnie Burnes would leave
her post next week to teach at Northeastern University.

As
Commissioner, Burnes ended Massachusetts’
system of state-made auto insurance rates. The system, unique in the United States,
let the insurance commissioner directly dictate how much auto insurance
companies charged. Under the system, national insurers fled Massachusetts, good drivers paid higher
rates than they do in adjoining states, and almost one driver in 20 was unable
to get private market auto insurance at any price. Since Burnes began the
process of deregulating the system two years ago, 11 new insurers have entered
the state, more drivers have found coverage in the private market, and rates
have fallen for most drivers.

“Commissioner
Burnes did a great job,” said Eli
Lehrer
, Director of CEI’s Center for Risk, Regulation, and Markets. “A long
string of Republican governors and their insurance commissioners gave Massachusetts what was probably the worst, most
anti-consumer property and casualty insurance system in the United States. In
just about two years, Nonnie Burnes and Gov. Deval Patrick have proven that
sensible policies that promote risk-based rates are simply a matter of common
sense. Freer markets for auto insurance help everyone. If opportunities
arise—and I’m sure they will—I hope Commissioner Burnes considers public service
again at some point in the future.” 

 

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan
public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited
government. For more information about CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.