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Our Office recently did an informal online survey regarding auto insurance that drew 232 respondents, and it showed again that shopping around for a policy can save consumers money on their coverage.

Q1 pie The survey found that more than 60 percent of respondents saved money on their car insurance. Twenty-seven percent of the respondents saved more than $300. That means more than two out of every five people saving money saved more than $300. That is a pretty good outcome.

We also found, as we have heard from consumers for some time, that more than half of the respondents increased their coverage. We have seen evidence that consumers are putting some or all of their savings back into their policies in the form of increased coverage. This is also good news for consumers.

Our switch to managed competition is just over two years old, but the reforms by the Patrick-Murray Administration are paying off. Since the start of 2008, we estimate drivers have saved more than $477 million on their car insurance policies. That’s a lot of money. Twelve new companies have entered Massachusetts (we had 19 when managed competition started), which means we now have 31 companies competing for consumers’ business. That competition has led to lower rates, more discounts, and more benefits for many drivers.

To reap the full benefits of the changes, however, consumers need to shop. A good place to start is the Division of Insurance’s auto rates comparison website.

To see the entire set of results from our survey, click here. And to participate in our current survey, regarding holiday shopping habits, click here.

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