In Massachusetts it is the “owner,” not the “driver,” who must be insured.

It is asserted that under the Massachusetts law the insurance company may increase an automobile driver’s premium rate for bad experience, thereby implying that compulsory insurance under such a law exerts an influence for accident prevention. The truth is squarely to the contrary. In Massachusetts it is the “owner,” not the “driver,” who must be insured. Find cheap general car insurance in MA now.

And any company writing liability insurance must insure any owner who applies, at a rate fixed by the public authorities and which the company may not vary, unless good cause for refusal to insure at all can be shown to the public authorities—and the fact that the owner has had bad experience because of employing bad drivers has been held not to be a good cause for refusal. From the foregoing it is manifest that compulsory insurance, in the Massachusetts form at least, trammels “selection of risks,” and the development of “merit rating,” thereby exerting an influence exactly contrary to what this article implies. And the form of the Massachusetts law indicates that, for political reasons, compulsory insurance is incompatible with due “selection of risks” and fair “merit rating.”

It is stated that “Charles Evans Hughes, Henry W. Taft and other eminent jurists . . . met every Thursday afternoon from five to seven, for almost two years, to study the problem of how to help the blockaded courts keep up with their jobs,” and as a result requested Governor Smith, of New York, to appoint a commission to study the entire question of automobile compensation insurance, including with such request a “suggestion” to “apply the principle of the Workmen’s Compensation Law to compensation for injuries resulting from automobile accidents.” This statement does not depart widely from the facts; but when the facts are analyzed they are, as an argument for compulsory compensation insurance, far less persuasive than as above presented.

Comments are closed.