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Editorial: No on Proposition 33

Proposition 33: Auto Insurance. NO

If Proposition 33 sounds familiar, that’s because it’s very familiar. In June 2010, it was put before the voters as Proposition 17. It failed then and it should fail now. In 2010, it was seen as a self-serving measure put before voters by Mercury Insurance founder George Joseph. Mercury is back as the main funder of Prop. 33 and it still appears to be a self-serving move for the company to get more business – at the expense of certain classes of drivers.

The measure would change rules set forth by Proposition 103 in 1988 in which insurers are allowed to give discounts to customers based on how long they’ve had insurance with that company. Prop. 33 would allow insurers to give discounts to new customers based upon how long that customer has been covered by other insurers. But it would also allow higher rates for drivers who are the least likely to afford it – drivers who had gone without insurance for 90 days or more in the past five years. Exceptions would be made for those on active military duty or those who had been unemployed for up to 18 months.

This is terribly unfair. People go without  car insurance for many different reasons that have nothing to do with whether they are a risk or not. They may have just decided to use public transit for a period of time or have not been working.

Using the rationale behind Prop. 33, discounts would be available to bad drivers as well as good ones. And it seems that drivers who would otherwise be penalized for not having insurance for more than 90 days under the proposition may be encouraged to drive without it.

This proposition just doesn’t make sense.