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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 193R: Group marketing plans for automobile and homeowner insurance; definitions; rules and regulations; rates; payroll deductions

Section 193R. The following words, as used in this section, shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the following meanings:—

''Association member'', a member of a trade union, association or organization.

''Group marketing'', ''Group marketing plan'', ''Mass merchandising'' or ''Mass merchandising plan'', any system, design or plan whereby motor vehicle or homeowner insurance is afforded to employees of an employer, or to members of a trade union, association, or organization and to which the employer, trade union, association or organization has agreed to or in any way affiliated itself with, assisted, encouraged or participated in the sale of such insurance to its employees or members through a payroll deduction plan or otherwise.

''Homeowner insurance'', any policy insuring individuals against any, some or all of the risks of loss to personal dwellings or the contents thereof or the personal liability pertaining thereto.

''Motor vehicle insurance'', any policy of insurance or bond as defined in section thirty-four A of chapter ninety or described in this chapter insuring private passenger vehicles for individuals.

No insurer or any person, firm, or corporation on behalf of any insurer, shall issue or make, or offer to issue or make, any certificate or policy of motor vehicle or homeowner insurance to any person in the commonwealth pursuant to a group marketing plan except in accordance with the terms and conditions of this section.

The commissioner shall make and at any time may alter or amend reasonable rules and regulations regarding insurance issued pursuant to a group marketing plan; provided, however, that insurance issued pursuant to a group marketing plan shall be cedeable and the experience of each group plan, both voluntary and ceded, shall be used in determining a company's losses and expenses in accordance with the attribution rules established under the provisions of section one hundred and thirteen H.

The rules and regulations made by the commissioner shall require (1) that every individual employee or association member having a proper insurable interest shall be entitled to participate in the group plan; (2) that every individual employee or association member participating in the group plan be given an option to continue coverage by a standard policy of the same type offered by the insurer to persons not eligible for a group plan for at least one additional year upon termination of employment or membership; (3) that there shall be no compulsion for an employee or association member to participate in the plan; (4) that no member of the group shall be subject to any rating differential or other classification technique or policy form designed to make it less desirable for him as an individual to purchase insurance through the group than it would be to purchase it from the regular individual market and each member of the group must be issued an individual policy of the same form varying only as to the amounts of insurance and limits of liability requested by the member; (5) that an insurer may not cancel any insurance of an individual member of the group except for nonpayment of premium, fraud or unless the insurance for the entire group is cancelled, but an insurer may cancel the motor vehicle insurance of an individual member for loss of registration or operators license by the individual member where such loss is for a period of one year or more; (6) that to qualify to write the group marketing plan herein defined the insurer must also be actively engaged in the business of writing the types of coverage offered for insureds other than such groups and may not be organized solely or principally for the purpose of furnishing coverage to such groups; (7) that such employer, trade union association or organization shall consist of no less than twenty-five members, at least fifteen of whom are residents of the commonwealth and that at least thirty-five percent are insured within two years of the effective date of the plan, such percentage to continue so insured at all times thereafter; (8) that such trade union, association, or organization shall have a constitution and by-laws and be formed in good faith for purposes other than that of obtaining insurance and; (9) that notwithstanding clauses (1) to (8), inclusive, a group marketing plan shall include any system, design or plan whereby motor vehicle or homeowner insurance is offered pursuant to a group marketing plan filed with the commissioner by an insurer that, without a sponsoring entity, limits the issuance or renewal of motor vehicle or homeowner insurance to persons who became policyholders of the insurer while engaged in military service.

Rates for such policies shall be fixed and established in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, chapter one hundred and seventy-four A or chapter one hundred and seventy-five A applicable to the type of insurance provided, except that in addition to the applicable provisions of said chapter every insurer providing insurance in accordance with this section shall keep and maintain separate data on the losses and expenses of each employer, trade union, association or organization so insured and shall not be allowed to offer any such insured a modification of the rates so fixed and established for all such insured until and unless data on such losses and expenses for at least three policy years shows, to the satisfaction of the commissioner, that such modification is in fact justified. For the purposes of this section deviations approved during the first three years of a group marketing plan by the commissioner based on direct reductions in expenses resulting from the group marketing technique shall be permitted. Every mutual company providing insurance in accordance with this section shall constitute each group marketing plan which has been in effect three policy years as a separate class of business for the purpose of paying dividends and any dividends on such plan shall be declared on the profits of the company from said class of business.

Employers, including the commonwealth or any agency or political subdivision thereof, may make payroll deductions to pay in whole or in part for premiums on any coverages purchased by employees pursuant to a plan authorized by this section.