Watch CBS News

Dorchester Woman Wins Fight Against Insurance Company Over Rate Hike

DORCHESTER (CBS) - A Dorchester woman got fed up with her insurance company and decided to fight back.

Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve says the end results of her fight could end up saving a lot of people a lot of money.

"I had to wait until I got to be 67 years old to start a fight," said Evelyn Cartwright.

Cartwright said it with a smile, but she got fighting mad when her insurance company suddenly upped her rates.

Safety Insurance said her car, which is always parked in front of her Dorchester home, was garaged in Roxbury, where insurance rates are higher.

"The post office says it Dorchester, the office for disabilities says it Dorchester, and all my mail comes as Dorchester," said Cartwright.

So, Cartwright wrote letters to the Attorney General and filed a complaint with the state. And then Safety Insurance backed down, agreeing her car was in fact garaged in Dorchester, and refunding her more than $180.

But get this, Safety Insurance technically did nothing wrong. The state allows insurers to consider areas, not just zip codes, when calculating risk.

Vargas and Vargas handle Cartwright's policy.

Mario Vargas says consumers should check with their insurers and he says for example, Vermont Mutual Insurance only charges Dorchester rates to people with Dorchester zip codes.

In a statement to WBZ-TV, the state division of insurance says:

"There is no specific regulation that bars or requires the use of zip codes for analysis, but the division of insurance has generally dissuaded carriers from using this methodology."

Safety Insurance did not want to talk on camera, but a top executive said on the phone their good will towards Evelyn Cartwright will be short-lived. He said when her policy comes up for renewal next February, her Dorchester home will once again be considered Roxbury. The company believes it was a mistake made during the quote process and that's why they honored the lower rate.

Cartwright is ready for them.

"Well if they do, they will have another fight on their hands," said Cartwright.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.