Leo Ojala: Real answers needed for rising auto insurance rates



Published: 02-06-2024 4:01 PM

This week, a local TV news station ran a story about the reasons for increased auto insurance rates. They cited the increased cost of replacing bumpers and even had some dollar figure comparisons. The report ignored the elephant in the room. There was no information on the cost of insurance companies and personal injury lawyers and the impact on consumers. The citizens are sitting ducks. There is no way to know these hidden costs. I’ve asked my state senator, state representative and auditor for a breakdown of where the money goes. They said they’d look into it but no reply.

There is no consumer protection. No one knows if there is an actual cost benefit of engaging a lawyer. Searching the internet it seems it’s uniform for them to take 33% to 40% of the outcome. “Tell them you mean business.” I try to respectfully hear words but what I listen to is behavior. The behavior is there’s no genuine interest in justice but a payday for them at the expense of your misfortune. The most egregious parasites among them have no trouble sticking their hands in the pockets of the Camp Lejune victims. They mean business. “Let’s settle this one.”

I doubt that many settlements are made in a court room but rather in a boardroom or over lunch at the country club. I’m betting that the first thing a personal injury lawyer throws at you is a nondisclosure agreement. The behavior is they don’t want anyone to know a typical outcome. That leads me to be suspect that a likely scenario is the insurance company offers the injured x. It’s a low ball number. You hire a lawyer. At the end of the day you still wind up with x and the lawyer pockets up to 40% of x. It’s a thriving business. Look at the advertising. Imagine the cost. We’re compelled to pay for it all.

“Have you been injured?” The answer is yes. We’re all injured by compulsory insurance. It seems a pretty cozy relationship between the personal injury lawyers, insurance companies and the Legislature.

Leo Ojala

Shelburne Falls