ALLOW INSURANCE DISCOUNTS FOR DRIVERS WHO TAKE A COURSE IN MARIJUANA IMPAIRMENT

By Bob Katzen

Would allow insurance companies to offer discounts to drivers who complete a marijuana impairment education course offered by driving schools and insurance companies.

“This legislation provides a critical financial incentive for drivers to educate themselves on the dangers of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana,” said sponsor Rep. Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury). “It will not only benefit those who complete the course and receive the discount, but in educating drivers, make every resident of the commonwealth safer. I am disappointed this bill has been sent to study and will plan to refile it next session.”

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RAISE THRESHOLD FROM $1,000 TO $2,500 (H 1117) – Under current law, in order for an accident to trigger a surcharge, there must be at least $1,000 worth of damage. This bill would raise the minimum to $2,500.

“This exemption is outdated at $1,000,” said sponsor Rep. Steve Howitt (R-Seekonk) who plans to refile the bill next year. “Cars are now costing tens of thousands of dollars [and] no longer have bumpers, but integrated facias that are part of the car’s body. A scratch can cost well over $1,000 to repair and paint. Paint body shop supplies and replacement automotive parts have outpaced inflation. By raising the points threshold to $2,500, it better conforms to these costs and does not cause additional financial burdens to our Massachusetts drivers with additional insurance premiums. This legislation is fair not only to the insurance industry, but to our consumers as well.”

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REBATES (H 1033) – Would allow auto insurance companies to give rebates to any policy holder who is considered a safe driver under state regulations and who was not involved in any surchargeable incidents during the period the policy was in effect.

“I believe people should be rewarded for safe driving,” said sponsor Rep. Bruce Ayers (D-Quincy). “This is a bill I plan on re-filing next legislative session.”

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