Citing Financial Crisis, Maryland’s State Auto Insurer Delays Rate Cut

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The Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF) has been granted a 45-day deferral of a decision that might have allowed MAIF to reduce rates by nearly five percent, according to Maryland Insurance Commissioner Ralph S. Tyler.

Executives of the state fund made the request to defer the decision on the requested rate reduction in light of recent economic conditions.

“Financial solvency is one of the key principles of consumer protection and is the focus of this agency,” said Tyler. “Given recent developments in the nation’s financial markets, it is prudent to grant MAIF time to determine whether these developments will impact the company’s ability to sustain a rate reduction.”

Officials at MAIF, which provides car insurance to those unable to obtain coverage in the private market, said that deferring the matter for 45 days will allow it to gather information on the effects of the economic issues.

The original request to reduce rates was filed by MAIF in June and became the subject of an administrative hearing in August after a protest was filed. This deferral does not withdraw MAIF’s request to reduce rates, but would delay the Tyler’s decision in the matter, which was originally due this week.

MAIF has until Nov. 17, 2008 to supplement its rate filing. At such time, the parties in this matter will be given 15 days to respond to any additional information. The MIA said it will then issue a decision based on the current circumstances.


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