211 CMR 123.04 - Procedure for Approval of Plans

Current through Register 1466, April 1, 2022

(1) Who May File: Any insurer may file a direct payment plan for approval by the Commissioner. Any licensed insurance rating organization may file a direct payment plan on behalf of its members ("industry plan"), provided that each insurer member of the rating organization which intends to implement such plan shall individually file notice of its intention to adopt the industry plan before actively implementing the plan. Any insurer may file for approval a plan which adopts some provisions of an industry plan without adopting the entire plan, but to the extent such individual plan deviates from the industry plan by omitting, adding or changing any particular provision, it shall require separate approval by the Commissioner. Any insurer filing a plan which deviates from an industry plan shall specify in detail the differences between the plans.
(2) Time for Filing: Any plan which is intended to be effective on January 1, 1989, shall be filed on or before December 15, 1988. Any plan which is intended to be effective after January 1, 1989 shall be filed at least 60 days prior to its effective date. Any notice of an insurer's intention to adopt an industry plan shall be filed at least 14 days prior to the insurer's implementation of the said plan, but in no event shall the insurer's implementation of the plan take place prior to the effective date of the industry plan, provided such plan has been approved.
(3) Method of Filing: An insurer or rating organization seeking approval of a plan shall file five copies of the proposed plan with the Commissioner. Any form intended to be used in connection with a proposed plan and which is to be delivered to consumers shall be included in the filing.
(4) Consideration of Proposed Plan: Upon receipt of a proposed plan, the Commissioner shall promptly schedule a hearing to determine whether the plan is consistent with M.G.L. c. 90, § 34O and M.G.L. c. 175, § 113O, as amended, with 211 CMR 123.000, and with other applicable laws and regulations, and whether the plan would carry out the purposes of M.G.L. c. 90, § 34O and M.G.L. c. 175, § 113O . No hearing shall be required in connection with an insurer's plan which the Commissioner determine s d o e s not substantially deviate from a previously approved plan. The Commissioner may schedule more than one plan to be considered at any given hearing. The Commissioner may require an insurer or any other party to the hearing to submit other or further information for purposes of considering the plan. The insurer or rating organization which filed the plan, and any other interested person, may file written materials in support of or in opposition to the plan.
(5) Timing of Hearing: With respect to any plan for which a hearing is required and which is filed to be effective on January 1, 1989, the Commissioner shall schedule the hearing thereon for such date as will allow a full and fair consideration of the plan, and as will allow the issuance of a decision approving or disapproving the plan prior to January 1, 1989. With respect to any other plan for which a hearing is required, the Commissioner shall schedule the hearing thereon to begin no less than 21 days after the plan is filed. The party filing the plan and other persons affected shall be notified of the date of the hearing at least ten days in advance.
(6) Approval or Disapproval of Plan: After a hearing, the Commissioner shall approve or disapprove the plan in writing and if the plan is disapproved or modified, shall state the reasons for the decision. Approval of a plan may be conditioned upon its modification, including a change in its effective date. The Commissioner may, prior to approving or disapproving a plan, request the party filing it to supplement or modify it.
(7) Effective Date of Plan: The benefits of an approved plan shall be made available to all claimants submitting claims arising from accidents or other losses occurring on or after the effective date of the plan, unless and until the approval of the plan is revoked or the plan is otherwise terminated in accordance with 211 CMR 123.04(9), or unless and until the insurer implementing such plan ceases to do so in accordance with 211 CMR 123.04(10).
(8) Reconsideration: Within ten days after the disapproval of a plan, any affected person may request reconsideration. Such request may be allowed only if the person submitting such request presents new and previously unavailable information which the Commissioner determines should be considered in evaluating the plan.
(9) Revocation of Approval: At any time after approval of a plan, the Commissioner may, after due investigation, commence proceedings to revoke or suspend such approval if he or she determines the insurer is not complying with the terms of the plan or that the plan does not carry out the intent of 108 CMR 123.00. He or she shall commence such proceedings by issuing an order to show cause why the approval of such plan should not be revoked or suspended, which shall briefly set forth the asserted grounds for revocation or suspension. The party which filed the plan, any insurer which has filed a notice that it intends to adopt or has adopted an industry plan, and any interested person may appear at the hearing. The Commissioner may schedule the revocation of more than one plan to be considered at any given hearing. After such hearing, the Commissioner shall issue a written decision, stating reasons for any determination to revoke or suspend approval of the plan. Non-revocation may be conditioned upon modification of the plan or other means of compliance with 211 CMR 123.00. Unless the Commissioner for good cause orders otherwise, the institution of revocation proceedings shall not act to enjoin or suspend the operation of the plan as originally approved. The Commissioner may, instead of or in addition to revocation or suspension, impose fines or other appropriate sanctions under M.G.L. c. 175 and 176D for any violations of law or of 108 CMR 123.00.
(10) Voluntary Withdrawal of Plan: Any party which has filed or adopted a plan may voluntarily withdraw such plan, or voluntarily withdraw its notice of intention to implement an industry plan, prior to the Commissioner's final approval of the plan. After that date, no insurer intending to implement or actively implementing such plan shall cease implementing the plan without first notifying the Commissioner of its intent to do so at least 60 days in advance. The Commissioner may make any orders reasonably necessary to prevent such cessation from causing undue hardship to consumers or disruption to the automobile repair market, but in no event shall such cessation be delayed, without the consent of the insurer, for more than six months, unless the insurer fails to comply with orders of the Commissioner relating to the cessation.


211 CMR 123.04

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