Monday, April 24, 2006

Auto Insurance In the News Again

From the Boston Globe:

For almost 30 years, elderly drivers in Massachusetts have enjoyed a benefit no one else has: a 25 percent discount on auto insurance premiums, worth about $250 on this year's bills.

But now the state's insurers are questioning whether the discount still makes sense at a time when national data indicate that older drivers, particularly those 75 and above, are filing claims and dying in crashes at a pace that rivals that of teenagers. Insurers in some states no longer give discounts to drivers 75 and above, and some charge older drivers more than younger adults.

Good lord! Individuals' insurance premium costs based on assigned risk! No wonder this is such a controversial issue here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. IT MAKES SENSE.

Daniel Johnston, president of the Automobile Insurers Bureau of Massachusetts, which represents the state's companies on rate matters, said any group of drivers that receives a discount it does not deserve is effectively being subsidized by drivers who are paying more than they should.

Gee, no kidding.

Welcome to Massachusetts.

Recap: Let me see if I understand this correctly.

It's perfectly acceptable to document the behavior of lawless, teenaged punks shooting up Boston's inner-city neighborhoods and use it as justification for restricting the RIGHT to self defense of law-abiding, middle-aged, suburbanites.

But, restricting the driving PRIVILEGES of, or charging more for car insurance for persons of a certain demographic (in this case, 75-years-old and up), based on the accident statistics and driving patterns of persons of that same demographic can somehow be seen as controversial and unfair.