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MA Insurance Commissioner Resigning for Acamedic Post

Posted on 11 Sep 2009

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Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner Nonnie S. Burnes has announced that she will be resigning from her post at the end of the month to take a fellowship position at her alma mater, Northeastern University in Boston. She will be teaching a course on regulatory reform and will work with students interested in pursuing careers focused on government regulation, public policy, law and business.

Ms. Burnes has led Massachusetts Division of Insurance since February 2007. Joseph Murphy, currently first deputy to the commissioner, will serve as acting commissioner in Ms. Burnes' absence.

Prior to her work as commissioner, Ms. Burnes served as a Massachusetts Superior Court judge from 1996 to 2007.

Paul Tetrault, Northeast state affairs manager for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), issued this statement regading Burnes resignation:

"Commissioner Burnes will be remembered well for taking on one of the thorniest public policy issues facing Massachusetts insurers and consumers. Her bold decision to depart, after three decades of contrary precedent, from state-set rating in auto insurance and adopt a competitive rating system showed fortitude and independence.

"Rather than bowing to presumptions and doomsaying about the feasibility of moving to competitive rating, she resolved to take a fresh look at the matter. When she did, she concluded that competitive rating was not only possible but actually required in light of statute and the available empirical evidence.

"As a result of this decision drivers across the state are now experiencing the benefits of competition, including more choices and lower rates for good drivers. It is to be hoped that her successor not only continues but expands upon this success."