AUGUSTA - A bill by Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, would protect Maine’s seniors from being hit with car insurance rate increases based solely on their age.
The bill, “LD 308, An Act to Prohibit Charging Maine Seniors Higher Automobile Insurance Premiums Based Solely on Their Age,” was subject to a public hearing before the Legislature’s Insurance and Financial Affairs Committee on Thursday. Sen. Diamond submitted the bill after Progressive, an automobile insurance company, attempted just such an increase.
“I’ve been a public official for a long time in this state, and I have seen the pivotal role that seniors play in our society. I was angry that anyone would attempt to take advantage of them,” said Sen. Diamond. “This legislation will make sure that they are protected against these attempts from auto insurance companies in the future. I have said it before: Our seniors deserve respect and deference, not to be scammed and ripped-off.”
Last summer, Progressive proposed an automobile insurance rate hike on those having reached the age of 65. The increase would have affected up to 65,000 Mainers and increased rates up to six percent. Normally, drivers with clean records can expect to see their rates get lower as they age. A representative for the Maine Chapter of the AARP refuted the notion that the elderly are more likely to be involved in accidents. According to the American Automobile Association, older drivers pose less of a risk than most age groups due to, driving within the speed limits, using their seat belts and avoiding drunk driving, among other factors.
The bill will soon be the subject of a committee work session, where it will be discussed and voted upon.