Growing Coalition to Stop Prop 33’s Auto Insurance Hikes

The Consumer Federation of California announces that a growing number of consumer, labor, senior, faith-based, and other advocacy groups are opposing Prop 33’s unfair auto insurance hikes.

‘No on Prop 33’ endorsers include:

Consumer Federation of California
Consumer Watchdog
California Alliance for Retired Americans
California Labor Federation
California Nurses Association
California Council of Churches and California Church Impact
California Young Democrats
CARS (Consumers for Auto Reliability & Safety)
Consumer Action
Consumers Union
Older Women’s League of California
TURN (The Utilities Reform Network)
United Policyholders
California Democratic Party

Prop 33 would allow insurance companies to charge higher rates to customers with perfect driving records if they have not purchased auto insurance at some point in the past five years. Drivers must pay this unfair penalty even if they did not own a car or need insurance at the time. It discriminates against people who have been ill, unemployed, students entering the workforce, or those who are eco-friendly by taking public or other transportation, and then need car insurance to drive again. 

Mercury Insurance’s billionaire Chairman George Joseph so far has donated more than $8 million toward Prop 33, and will probably donate more.  Prop 33 is nearly an identical replay of Mercury’s unsuccessful 2010 initiative, Prop 17, which was aimed at raising auto insurance costs on millions of drivers.

‘When was the last time a billionaire insurance magnate spent a fortune to save you money? Never. This proposition is nothing more that an insurance tycoon’s self-enrichment scheme,’ said Richard Holober, Consumer Federation of California.

‘Prop 33 unfairly punishes anyone who stopped driving for a good reason, but now needs insurance to get back behind the wheel,’ said Art Pulaski, California Labor Federation. ‘People who have been out of work through no fault of their own are already struggling to survive.  They shouldn’t be hit with costly car insurance rate hikes when they’re trying to get back on their feet.’

‘Prop 33 will give insurance companies far more power to raise rates on millions of good drivers who deserve a break, not a rate hike,’ commented Mark Savage, Consumers Union. ‘Allowing insurance companies to base their auto premiums primarily on continuous coverage will make insurance coverage unaffordable for many low-income drivers.’

Nan Brasmer, California Alliance for Retired Americans, said, ‘Prop 33 raises insurance rates for people who dropped their coverage while recuperating from a serious illness or injury that kept them off the road. Seniors with disabilities or those who are not driving to economize are penalized when they need to drive again.’

‘Lies and deception are at the heart of this insurance billionaire’s campaign for Prop 33, because he can’t win if the public knows the truth: Prop 33 allows insurance companies to charge good drivers more,’ said Carmen Balber, Consumer Watchdog. ‘They want to hide the fact that people who had a lapse in insurance for any number of good reasons will be surcharged if Proposition 33 takes effect.’