Hank Investigates: Auto Insurance Scores

Now a story you’ll see on just one station: You might be paying too much for car insurance and have no idea. Hank uncovered thousands of drivers might have been affected. Could you be one of them? And how can you find out? Hank Investigates.

If there ever was a safe driver it’s Jane Walker. She’s got a perfect record for all the years she and her husband lived in Massachusetts and all the winters they now spend in Florida.

Jane: “I’ve never had a ticket, never had an accident.”

But when the warm weather brought them back to Plymouth earlier this year, Jane opened her mail box and got a chill.

Her car insurance bill was hundreds of dollars higher than usual.

Jane: “Welcome to Massachusetts…”

Jane’s husband called their insurance agent to complain, and he was told Jane’s state issued “Excellent Driver Discount,” score was no longer a top notch 99, it was down to 0. That’s a mistake, but that’s what boosted her bill.

Kevin Walker: “I was outraged.”

And we found Jane wasn’t the only victim, after our inquiries, the Registry admitted it potentially gave improper scores to 23,250 drivers.

That could mean they’re now paying too much for insurance.

Our investigation found the scoring snafu happened over three months this Spring. Like Jane, thousands of out of state drivers came to Massachusetts and applied for car insurance.

But no matter what their actual driving record or how long they’d been driving, we found the Registry’s new computer system mistakenly scored them as inexperienced and automatically rated them 0.

Registry officials, would not go on camera, and say they’ve now fixed the problem.

But we found those 23,000 drivers may have no idea they were issued improper scores, because the RMV is not going to tell them.

Consumer advocate, Deirdre Cummings, says that’s unacceptable.

Deidre Cummings, MASSPIRG: “That’s just not fair.”

The RMV said it informed insurance companies of the problem and is encouraging them to re-run the ratings for drivers that may have received a 0 rating in error.

Cummings says that’s not enough because if miscalculated scores made bills too high customers can get a refund from their insurance company.

Cummings: “We just need to alert those 23,000 people that may be over paying for their insurance and let them know so that they can protect themselves.”

After the Walkers’ made a stink about it, they got $368. But they worry other drivers who just moved to Massachusetts and simply figured car insurance costs here are high and just paid the incorrect bill.

Kevin: “What about the other people that weren’t as aggressive or weren’t as angry, or weren’t as frustrated, what about them?”

So if you moved to Massachusetts and applied for car insurance this Spring call your insurance company and ask to have them check your rating.

The RMV’s new computer system was implemented on March 26, 2018 and the scoring system was changed on June 13, 2018.

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