5/21/2010 UCC Government Affairs Press Release

May 21, 2010

United Chambers Supports Prop. 17 – Makes the Auto Insurance Market More Competitive and Will Lower Rates

Proposition 17 on the June 2010 ballot will benefit more than 80% of California drivers by allowing them to take their continuous coverage auto insurance discount with them no matter which insurance company they choose and could result in a savings of up to $250 a year.

The measure makes the auto insurance market more competitive, lowering auto insurance rates, leading to better policies and service for drivers.

In supporting the measure, United Chambers of Commerce joins the Cal Chamber, Small Business Action Committee, and other business, consumer, senior, taxpayer groups, and independent insurance agents from across California. Many small business owners insure vehicles through their personal insurance policies and will benefit if this measure passes.

Here is why Prop. 17 is needed: Under current law, drivers who have maintained auto insurance with the same company are eligible for a continuous coverage auto insurance discount. But a flaw in existing law prohibits drivers from taking this discount with them if they switch insurance companies.

This flaw punishes the 80% of responsible drivers who maintain coverage and forces them to pay a surcharge – because they lose the discount — if they want to switch from one insurer to another.

Prop. 17 fixes this flaw so drivers can get the continuous coverage auto insurance discount even if they switch insurance companies. More than 80% of California drivers – everyone who maintains auto insurance – stand to benefit from Prop 17, saving them up to $250 per year in lower auto insurance rates.

Just as drivers are able to take their good driver discount with them if they change insurers, they’ll be able to take their continuous coverage discount too.

Prop 17 also includes important consumer protections drivers do not have now. Under current law, drivers who cancel their auto insurance for just one day lose their continuous coverage discount. In contrast, Prop. 17 includes a 90-day grace period, which protects consumers who stop driving for short periods of time.

If the cancellation is longer than 90 days, Prop. 17 adds protections for those drivers by allowing insurers to grant the continuous coverage discount at their discretion.

So, a person who loses their job and stops driving for a short period of time is still eligible for the discount. If they’re out of a job longer, insurance companies still can give them the discount – something current law prohibits.

Prop. 17 also protects men and women serving in the military by including a specific provision ensuring they do not lose their discount when they serve overseas.

For more information and details on how you can get involved, please visit www.YesProp17.org.

Don’t forget, the last day to register to vote for the June election is May 24th.  The California Secretary of State has information on registering to vote. You can pick up a registration form at your local post office, library or election office.