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Are Massachusetts automobile insurers poor, or are they just crying poormouth?
That's the question industry critics have raised in recent days, following announcements by a number of insurers that this year they could only afford to give slight good driver discounts.
Those discounts, made public Jan. 16, only averaged about 2 percent beyond the across-the-board 8.3 percent cut in the private passenger insurance rates announced by the state Division of Insurance in November.
Auto insurance companies offered the discounts, known in the industry as deviations, nearly a month after the head of their trade association decried the state-imposed 8.3 percent rate cut, saying the companies would be hard-pressed to withstand such a siphoning of revenue--particularly at a time when other …