Friday, September 23, 2005

Who's Behind the Insurance Ad Campaign?

Those of you who watched tonight's Red Sox game may have noticed some new commercials from the folks at One of the commercials seems to be making the misleading claim that good drivers pay more than bad drivers do in Massachusetts. The whole point of the Massachusetts system, whether you are for or against it is that bad drivers generally pay the same amount as good drivers. While this may be less than those same drivers would have to pay under a more competitive system, the ad does not bother to point out that nuance.

So, who is behind the new ad campaign? The commercials are paid for by the Massachusetts Insurance Federation, which is headed up by Insurance Company lobbyist James T. Harrington. Harrington was, at least until recently, the northeast region vice president of the American Insurance Association, and in fact, back in 1994, former Rep Frank Emilio (D-Haverhill) was fined by the state Ethics Commission, in part for accepting inappropriate gifts from Harrington while he worked for the AIA. The AIA, of course, represents the interests of large insurance companies, who would benefit from the insurance market being opened in Massachusetts to more competition. Of course, you don't need to even do that much digging to find out who is behind these ads, just check out their supporters page: Liberty Mutual, Metropolitan and other large insurance companies.

Now, I don't know if Romney's insurance plan will reduce anyone's rates, but it's telling that the ones pushing it are the big out-of-state insurers. They're not in it because they're looking out for good drivers, they're in it because Massachusetts is an untapped market for them, and they want the chance to get your money.