Mass. Senate Candidate Coakley Springs to Defend Coastal
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has intervened
on behalf of state homeowners to avert a proposed homeowners'
insurance rate hike, the Patriot-Ledger newspaper reports
Thousands of coastal homeowners would get a break in FAIR Plan
," by Jon Chesto). Instead of rate hikes of 2.2% to
6.3%, coastal counties will now see rates remain flat, the
paper said, assuming the deal withstands review by the state's
insurance commissioner. Rates for homeowners in some interior
parts of the state will be reduced under the agreement between
Coakley's office and the Massachusetts Property Insurance
Underwriters Association, also known as the FAIR Plan.
The FAIR Plan is the state's insurer of last resort for
homeowners unable to get coverage in the private market.
Coastal homeowners continue to pay higher rates than inland
property owners; in 2006, the insurance commission approved
(over Coakley's opposition) a 25% rate hike for homeowners on
Cape Cod and the Islands (Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard), the
state's most exposed locations on the Atlantic shore. The Fair
Plan covers 63,000 homeowners in that part of the state,
accounting for 45% of the market, according to the Cape Cod
FAIR Plan rates hold
," by Sarah Shemkus).
Attorney General Coakley won the state Democratic primary on
December 8th and is the party's candidate to assume the Senate
seat of the late Senator Edward Kennedy. That special election
will take place on January 19th, with Coakley facing State
Senator Scott Brown, the winner of the Republican primary.
Coakley's office issued a
on January 7 about Coakley's successful
action to block the rate increase.
National pundits following the special election are focused
mainly on the race's potential to affect the balance of power
in the U.S. Senate, where Democrats are barely clinging to the
60-to-40 majority they need to pass legislation over a
Republican filibuster. But followers of coastal politics may
want to keep in mind that in terms of her state's local
dynamics, Coakley is likely, if elected, to be influenced at
times by the views of her constituents on the windswept shores
of Cape Cod, Nantucket, and the Vineyard.