Check out our update to this blog. Hint: voters in California voted the same on Prop. 33 as they did on its predecessor Prop. 17.
Two years ago, voters in California turned down a Proposition very similar to this year’s Prop. 33. Erik Anderson of KQED in California talks about both sides of Prop. 33 in “Prop. 33 Asks Voters to Reconsider How Auto Insurance Discounts Work.” If Prop. 33 passes, auto insurance companies will be able to offer better discounts to drivers who have consistently carried insurance for 5 years. That means that around 80% of drivers would be able to receive significant discounts on their auto insurance simply by maintaining insurance coverage without interruption for 5 years. Some exceptions have been made to separate Prop. 33 from the failed Prop. 17. Military members, people who have lost their jobs, and children who were living with their parents will not face steeper car insurance rates if they haven’t maintained 5 straight years of insurance coverage.
But California drivers who don’t meet those exceptions will face much higher auto insurance rates if Prop. 33 passes. Opponents says that 20% of the drivers in California will be financing the discounts for the other 80% of the drivers. They say that there was a good reason for the law passed 24 years ago prohibiting auto insurers from offering discounts based on insurance coverage history. They currently have to base pricing on the driver’s driving record, how many miles they drive, and how long they have been driving. One concerned voter worries that their rates will be high when they voluntarily sold their car and used public transportation within the past 5 years. Why should they be penalized for not maintaining auto insurance when they didn’t have an auto to insure?
As he was with Prop. 17, Mercury Insurance owner George Joseph is the main proponent of Prop. 33. He is also offering up much of the funding. He says that it will increase competition in the auto insurance market, which is good for drivers as well as most insurance companies. Proponents say that Prop. 33 will reward drivers in California’s auto insurance market who have maintained their insurance. It also allows drivers to switch companies and get lower car insurance rates because the discount is portable. It can be difficult to tell whose best interest is at the forefront in political debates and Prop. 33 has made auto insurance political. California drivers need to do their research and vote this November to make sure that what they would like to see happen with Prop. 33 has the best chance of being the outcome.