Insurance measure qualifies for June ballot

January 21, 2010

A controversial automobile insurance initiative officially qualified for the June ballot Wednesday, but the debate has already begun about whether it harms, or helps, consumers. [San Francisco Chronicle]

The measure allows insurance companies to base their rates partly on a driver’s history of insurance coverage, a practice barred in California since a voter-approved measure passed in 1988. Some eyebrows are being raised because the measure is primarily funded by the Mercury Insurance Group.

Advocates argue that the initiative offers lower insurance rates, but critics fear rates will skyrocket for first time buyers, or drivers who stop their coverage, and then try to restart it.

Consumer Watchdog has come out against the proposed measure, warning that passage will likely result in higher insurance rates for all.

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