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Acting Superintendent of Insurance Howard Mills today announced that New Yorkers who insure their private passenger automobile through Travelers, the personal lines arm of the St. Paul Travelers Companies, Inc., will see on average a 5.5 percent rate reduction in 2005, resulting in a cumulative savings of almost $33 million.

"The Insurance Department has in recent weeks approved rate filings that will return in excess of $200 million this year alone to New York’s drivers, an enormous achievement that can be tied directly to Governor Pataki’s innovative fraud-fighting and regulatory reform successes," Acting Superintendent Mills stated.

Travelers’ customers are going to see $32.9 million in savings. The company is the sixth auto insurer to date that has filed for, and received, Departmental approval for rate reductions in 2005. The other carriers and the millions returned to their policyholders in the form of reduced premium costs this year include GEICO ($100 million), Progressive ($33 million), Nationwide ($18 million), MetLife ($15 million) and Amica Mutual ($12 million).

Travelers has about 340,000 auto insurance policyholders in New York State and 96 percent of them will realize a premium rate decrease in 2005. The newly-approved rate structure goes into effect for new business on Feb. 20, 2005 and renewals starting on March 22, 2005.

"Auto insurance is one of life’s economic necessities and the Insurance Department is rightfully proud of its record in translating Governor Pataki’s policy accomplishments into significant consumer savings," Acting Superintendent Mills said.

In an unprecedented move, the New York State Insurance Department asked the state’s largest auto insurance carriers in November 2004 to meet with the Department’s senior management team to discuss possible rate reductions in light of compelling industry data indicating that losses had dropped substantially between 2002 and the third quarter of 2004. Meetings with other carriers are continuing.


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