Divorced Couple with New Driver

    Posted by MAIA on Aug 9, 2019 4:48:09 PM


    This question was answered based upon current rules, regulations & statutes in effect on March 01, 2019

    Quick question I have an insured who is divorced and he and his wife share custody of the child basically she lives with each parent 50/50. She is getting her driver’s license and each parent has one vehicle, does the child need to be listed and rated on each policy or can she be listed and rated on one and deferred on the other? I would think as long as she is being rated and charged on one policy that is all the companies are going to require.



    Irene Morrill:  It really depends on the companies involved and what their manuals say.  You can only “defer” a principal operator …not an “occasional” operator …and I know the MAIP manual talks about “households” and there are two in your situation.. for just rating an occasional operator once. If the same company insures both households you might talk them into only rating ”occasional” kid once.  If its different companies .. good luck

    I’m sending this to Kathy Cormier, CPPL, Member Relations Advocate.  Kathy?

    Kathy Cormier:   I agree with Irene...because they are listed as occasional, they would be rated on both policies.  There are some companies that do not rate by driver class, instead they do an average rate for the household, but the child would still be included in the average for both polices.

    Here is the MAIP rule...the only way to keep then rated on one policy only would be for them to be listed as a principal operator and the other policy must be a MA Auto policy that they are being deferred from:

    Rule 28:

    B.  Operators

    All operators of the insured automobiles must be listed on the Coverage Selections Page of the Policy. An operator

    is a person who has an operator’s license, but does not include a person who has only a learner’s permit.

     1. Assignment of Operators to Automobile

    a. If an insurer defers operators listed on a policy who are rated on an automobile insured by another Massachusetts private passenger motor vehicle insurance policy for the purposes of rating the policy on which they are listed in the voluntary market, this practice must be extended to the rating of policies assigned to it through the MAIP. If the insurer does not defer any listed operator under the policy for the purposes of rating the policy, the insurer shall not adopt that practice for the purposes of rating a policy assigned to it through the MAIP.

    b. Each operator listed on the policy shall be assigned to an automobile on the policy based on the operator’s class and merit rating in a manner which produces the highest Combined Premium (the sum of the premium for Parts 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9 for the operator’s class and the operator’s merit rating adjustment) for each automobile. The operators shall be assigned in order of the highest Combined Premium applied to the automobile with highest Base Premium (the automobile’s Class 10 premium for Parts 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9) until all operators are assigned to an automobile, except that:


    1. If an inexperienced operator is the principal operator of a specific automobile, the automobile

    shall be rated with the appropriate inexperienced principal operator class and merit rating

    adjustment of that operator;


    1. If an operator age 65 or over is the principal operator of a specific automobile and all operators

    listed on the policy have been licensed at least six years, the automobile shall be rated as Class

    15 and that operator’s merit rating adjustment shall be applied . However, if more than one listed

    operator is age 65 or over, Class 15 and the merit rating adjustments of the Class 15 operators

    shall be applied in the manner which produces the highest Combined Premium.


    iii. If only one operator is listed on the policy, all automobiles on the policy will be assigned the

    same principal operator classification and merit rating adjustment.


    1. If each listed operator has been used in rating an automobile on the policy, any remaining

    automobiles shall be assigned the operator class and merit rating adjustment which produces the

    lowest Combined Premium, unless the automobile is subject to rating as Class 30.


    1. If more than one operator is listed on the policy, an operator cannot be assigned as the principal

    operator of more than one automobile on the policy until the other operators are assigned to an



    1. The assignment of operators to automobiles applies regardless of the number of policies or insurers involved.


    I hope this helps.

    This document is not a legal opinion and should not be relied upon as such. The intent of this document is to provide a general background regarding the topic or topics discussed, not to provide legal advice. Producers and agencies should consult an attorney regarding specific situations and specific questions with respect to the topic or topics covered in this document. Neither the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents, Number One Insurance Agency nor any of its employees shall be responsible for any errors or omissions regarding any statements made in this document, nor any errors or omissions regarding any statutes, regulations, court rules, and/or any other government documents cited in this document.

    Topics: Legal, 2019

    Keep Reading!

    Previous Post Sales Tax Penalties and Interest
    Next Post Tree Fell on Car is This Comprehensive


    *Denotes required field.