Vote No on Proposition 17 ‘ The Mercury Insurance Rate Hike Initiative – DEFEATED by 52.1% no to 47.9% yes vote!!
Prop 17 was DEFEATED by 52.1% no to 47.9% yes vote!!
One huge insurance company – Mercury Insurance ‘ put Prop 17 on the ballot, to legalize discriminatory practices that would increase auto premiums for millions of motorists.
Prop 17 would repeal a key provision of a voter approved insurance rate regulation (Prop 103) that has saved California motorists over $60 billion in excessive insurance rate hikes. Prop 17 allows auto insurers to raise your premium if you have a break in insurance coverage for three months ‘ for any reason ‘ even if you have a perfect driving record.
In Nevada, where Prop 17’s rates are permitted, a good driver pays 73% more for an auto insurance policy, simply if the motorist had a break in coverage for a reason such as stateside military service, a period of unemployment, or a disability that prevented the person from driving.
Insurance Industry Money Grab
Mercury Insurance has spent $10 million on Prop 17. It raises rates on millions of California motorists.
Prop 17 lets insurers charge higher rates for motorists with perfect driving records, simply for a 90 day break in coverage for any reason in the past ve years. With Prop 17:
Soldiers Will Pay Higher Insurance Rates ‘ Service personnel stationed stateside on a base will pay higher rates when they return to civilian life and start driving.
Unemployed Workers Pay Higher Rates ‘Cancel an insurance policy to save money while unemployed, pay higher rates when you nd a job and resume commuting.
Temporarily Disabled Pay Higher Rates – Cancel coverage while recuperating and unable to drive, rates go up when you’re well enough to get behind the wheel.
Others facing higher rates under Prop 17 are people who start driving to new jobs after commuting by public transit and college students entering the workforce.
Who Opposes Prop 17?
California Nurses Association
California Alliance for Retired Americans
California Labor Federation
Consumer Federation of California
Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports Magazine)
California Federation of Teachers
Click here for the complete list of groups OPPOSING Prop 17.
What People are Saying?
Nearly every daily newspaper in the state OPPOSES Prop 17…
LA Times Editorial: No on Proposition 17
San Jose Mercury News Editorial: ‘a special interest scam‘
SF Chronicle Editorial: ‘a daunting additional cost for those who are desperate to get coverage‘
Sacramento Bee Editorial: “So Mercury Insurance is back with Proposition 17. Don’t believe its propaganda.”
Myth: The Mercury Insurance initiative will lower insurance premiums for Californians.
Fact: The initiative is written and funded by Mercury Insurance in order to allow the company to raise insurance prices by imposing penalties and surcharges that are illegal now. The initiative could raise premiums for drivers who did not carry auto insurance coverage in the past, even if they didn’t have a car, by hundreds of dollars. And by making auto insurance more expensive, the Mercury Insurance initiative will lead to more people driving uninsured, which will result in premium hikes for the rest of us.
Myth: This initiative only allows auto insurance companies to give discounts.
Fact: There is no free lunch under California insurance laws. Every ‘discount’ must be ‘balanced’ by a surcharge. Those who do not qualify for the ‘discount’ Mercury Insurance is promising must, by law, pay a surcharge to ensure the company has enough premiums to pay claims. Both the Insurance Commissioner and the courts have determined that Mercury’s proposal will lead to higher premiums for many motorists. And when drivers can’t afford to buy the higher priced insurance, everyone else will make up the difference through higher Uninsured Motorist premiums.
Mercury Insurance Company says it is sponsoring this measure so it can lower its rates. But when Mercury Insurance broke California law and illegally charged Californians the surcharge its is proposing in this measure, it raised customers’ premiums by more than 40%. Tests of Mercury Insurance online premium quotes in other states, where this surcharge is legal, show price hikes as high as 90%.
1. State regulators describe Mercury Insurance as an abusive, anti-consumer company.
The California Department of Insurance recently made this statement before an Administrative Law Judge in an agency enforcement action against Mercury:
Mercury’s lengthy history of serious misconduct, and its attitude ‘ contempt towards and/or abuse of its customers, the Commissioner, its competition, and the Superior Court ‘ are all relevant to determining the penalty needed to best ensure the protection of the public from future violations and wrongdoing’
4. Mercury had to be forced by a California court to stop its insurance agents from charging illegal broker fees to unsuspecting customers.
In 2003, the San Francisco Superior Court found that Mercury was deceiving customers through its advertising by suggesting that consumers would pay less for auto insurance from Mercury than from other insurance companies. What its ad campaign failed to disclose was that Mercury customers (unlike the comparison companies) would often be required to pay an additional broker fee that is illegal under California law, driving up the actual price. The court issued an injunction ordering Mercury to change its practices.
For more information go to the Campaign for Consumer Right’s Stop Prop 17 site.