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The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 57A: Motor vehicle insurance merit rating board

  Section 57A. (a) There shall be within the registry of motor vehicles a motor vehicle insurance merit rating board, in this section called the board. The board shall consist of the registrar of motor vehicles, who shall serve as chair, the commissioner of insurance and the attorney general or a designee. The board shall appoint a director, who shall not be subject to chapter 31. The board shall formulate and administer a plan for compiling, gathering and disseminating information, operator records and histories and such other data as it deems necessary or appropriate pertaining to motor vehicle accidents, claims under motor vehicle policies and motor vehicle violations in order to facilitate the implementation and operation of the safe driver insurance plan provided in section 113B of chapter 175.

[ Subsection (b) effective until July 1, 2015. For text effective July 1, 2015, see below.]

  (b) The plan shall include a system for gathering and maintaining the information provided for in subsection (a) and for its prompt and efficient dissemination to insurance companies making inquiry with respect to the motor vehicle accident, motor vehicle insurance claim and motor vehicle violation record of any owner or operator insured by or applying for insurance from such insurer. These records and data disseminated by the plan shall be used exclusively for motor vehicle insurance purposes and criminal law enforcement purposes. Whoever disseminates or uses records or data disseminated under the plan in violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 for each offense or by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both.

[ Subsection (b) as amended by 2015, 46, Sec. 14 effective July 1, 2015. See 2015, 46, Sec. 216. For text effective until July 1, 2015, see above.]

  (b) The plan shall include a system for gathering and maintaining the information provided for in subsection (a) and for its prompt and efficient dissemination to insurance companies making inquiry with respect to the motor vehicle accident, motor vehicle insurance claim and motor vehicle violation record of any owner or operator insured by or applying for insurance from such insurer. For an at-fault accident claim, a minor accident shall be an accident for which the claim payment, exclusive of any deductible, exceeds $1,000 but is not more than $5,000 under: (i) property damage liability coverage; (ii) collision coverage; (iii) limited collision coverage; (iv) for accidents occurring on or after January 1, 2006, bodily injury liability coverage if there is neither a surchargeable property damage liability coverage claim nor a surchargeable collision coverage claim; or (v) as a result of an accident with a bodily injury liability coverage claim. For an at-fault accident claim, a major accident shall be an accident for which the claim payment, exclusive of any deductible, exceeds $5,000 under either (A): property damage liability coverage; (B) collision coverage; (C) limited collision coverage; (D) for accidents occurring on or after January 1, 2006, bodily injury liability coverage if there is neither a surchargeable property damage liability coverage claim nor a surchargeable collision coverage claim; or (E) as a result of an incident with a bodily injury liability coverage claim. These records and data disseminated by the plan shall be used exclusively for motor vehicle insurance purposes and criminal law enforcement purposes. Whoever disseminates or uses records or data disseminated under the plan in violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 for each offense or by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both.

  (c) The board shall have access to criminal offender record information for the purpose of developing the plan. The department of criminal justice information services shall certify the board and each insurance company doing motor vehicle insurance business within the commonwealth for access to criminal offender record information pertaining to violations of chapter 90 by its insureds. The board and each such insurance company shall comply with the regulations of the department of criminal justice information services and shall be subject to sections 172 to 178, inclusive, of chapter 6.

  (d) The board may expend for expenses and for legal, investigative, clerical and other assistance amounts appropriated for those purposes. All costs of administration and operation of the board shall be borne by insurance companies doing motor vehicle insurance business within the commonwealth. The commissioner of insurance shall apportion estimated costs among all such companies and shall assess those companies for those costs on a fair and reasonable basis. The estimated costs shall be paid to the commissioner within 30 days after the date of the notice from the commissioner of these estimated costs. The commissioner shall subsequently apportion actual costs among all such companies and shall make assessment adjustments for any variation between estimated and actual costs on a fair and reasonable basis. The estimated and actual costs shall include an amount equal to indirect costs as determined by the secretary of administration and finance and shall also include the cost of fringe benefits as established by the secretary of administration and finance.