The Battle Waged by Auto Insurers Continues despite Proposition 17’s Rejection


OJORF-00010496-001Auto insurers have waged a battle to ease the regulations that allows drivers to carry the discount on continuous coverage with them when they switch carriers. They have already spent over $16 million; however, they still see no respite despite the rejection of Proposition 17 by the voters of the state.

The counting of the votes ended early on Wednesday. 52% of the voters rejected the initiative as against the 48% who voted in favor of it. The auto insurers faced defeat despite spending millions of dollars to garner supporters.

This tough battle between the auto insurers and the customer advocates was well fought. The advocates applauded the rejection because if it came into effect, then, it would have led to increase in the premiums of the auto insurance policies. With Mercury Group in the lead, the insurers were of the view that this proposition would in fact bring down the rates of the coverage.

Santa Monica’s customer watchdog applauded the defeat of the proposition and said that it heralded the displeasure of the voters towards big companies taking over their initiatives that would in fact call for a vote.

However, the Californian spokesperson for Fair Auto Insurance Rates, mentioned that they were definitely not happy, but will carry on their efforts to ease the regulations since they wanted to bring in more business.

George Joseph, the chairman of Mercury Group, who has been constantly putting efforts to get the changes passed by the Legislation and the court, was unsure about his next course of action.

Re-iterating the objective of the campaign, Joseph said that they have to spread more awareness about this amongst the people and show them that this regulation will work in their favor. He said that enabling customers to carry their discounts to new carriers will positively impact over 80% of the motorists.

Consumer Watchdog’s founder, Harvey Rosenfield, who also authored the ballot measure, said that this was a significant victory for all, including the voters in California, since they clearly displayed their unhappiness over large companies thwarting the initiative process by the people.

About $1.3 million was spent by the Campaign for Consumer Rights group to urge people to reject the proposition led by the Mercury Group. The campaign led by this group spread the message that if this proposition came into effect then it would lead to an increase in premiums for not only new drivers, but also for people who have quit driving temporarily to avail public transport and for people in the armed services working in a different state.