As a San Diego County insurance broker who has spent a career dealing with auto insurance, I am dismayed at the lack of critical thinking surrounding Proposition 33, which will make auto insurance more competitive and give California drivers the same provisions enjoyed in 48 other states.

I sell auto policies for many companies, including from Mercury Insurance, whose founder, George Joseph, is determined to bring low-cost auto insurance and policies to Californians.

The central argument made by Prop. 33 opponents is this: a billionaire is spending his own money on this so it must be bad. That’s the best they’ve got? Joseph has already earned his money through integrity and hard work. I know him and can say he isn’t interested in adding to his wealth. He is 91 years old and wants to leave a positive legacy for his industry and California.

Prop. 33 makes sense for Californians when you strip away personal attacks and look at

measure itself:

• Prop. 33 will save Californians money on their auto insurance. Rates dropped from


We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?

1996 to 2002 when our state laws contained the same provisions now contained in Prop. 33 but which were later abolished. California has some of the highest rates in the nation.

• Prop. 33 restores consumer choice. It unchains them from their existing insurers and

gives them the ability to take their “persistency discounts” with them to a new insurer of their choice. In California you are rewarded with a “persistency” discount for following the law and purchasing car insurance. Yet unlike virtually every other state this discount only works in California if you stay with the same insurance company. Millions of California drivers are in essence hostages to their auto insurers. Prop. 33 empowers consumers to take the discount they have earned with one company to another company that they prefer due to price, service and other factors.

• Prop. 33 helps San Diego County’s military community. It extends the discount to all active military, rewarding the heroes while they are spending their lives doing their part for our country at home or overseas. This is why it is supported by all the major veterans groups, including the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America and USAA, the highly respected provider of choice for men and women in uniform.

• Prop. 33 protects people whose policies have lapsed due to unemployment, illness or other factors. Consumers currently lose their discount on the day they stop making a payment. Prop. 33, however, would put safety valves in place. Those on hard times can miss a payment for 90 days for any reason and keep the discount. They can stop making a payment for up to 18 months if they have been laid off or furloughed and still keep the discount. If they miss payment for a year, Prop. 33 allows a proportional discount for each full year a person is insured. It also covers young people who have been on family policies.

• Prop. 33 preserves regulatory oversight of rates. While some insurance companies may

raise rates, those rate increases would be minimal and likely impact a sliver of the population. This is because California state law requires that all insurance rates must be approved by the Department of Insurance and the rates cannot be excessive and must be adequate.

• Prop. 33 means more insured drivers and safer streets. When Prop. 33 provisions were

on the books, the number of uninsured motorists dropped by half. This is why there is so much support from a wide range of law enforcement organizations, including the California Association of Highway Patrolmen.

I could attack the opponents, who have made nearly $6 million off the insurance industry under the guise of consumer advocacy. But elections should be about policy, not mudslinging. Local insurance agents like me are sponsoring the initiative because we want sell more insurance to more people — not fewer. With more competition rates go down and everyone can be insured.

Read the initiative for yourself. I did. That’s why I am voting yes on Prop. 33.

Robert Kipper lives in San Marcos.


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    This article relates to: Economy, Letters, Opinion

    Written by Dagny Salas

    Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

    12 comments
    shawn fox
    shawn fox subscriber

    xisting law that forbids that. The other thing that I find odd is that if I call for a quote, other companies always ask me if I am currently insured for some amount of time so they already seem to be taking that into consideration for some purpose. According to prop33 supporters, that should not be allowable, so I am confused as to why the insurers would ever ask during the process of issuing a quote.

    shawn1874
    shawn1874

    xisting law that forbids that. The other thing that I find odd is that if I call for a quote, other companies always ask me if I am currently insured for some amount of time so they already seem to be taking that into consideration for some purpose. According to prop33 supporters, that should not be allowable, so I am confused as to why the insurers would ever ask during the process of issuing a quote.

    shawn fox
    shawn fox subscriber

    Derek, I'm not sure what your analogy is supposed to mean. You'll have to clarify. I shouldn't have to prove anything. I didn't write the article did I? I'm sure that people have many reasons for dropping insurance. In some cases it is because they don't drive anymore (don't need to) or can't afford to maintain or buy a car. I'm not sure that the decision has anything to do with prop 102 or prop 33 or any other proposition. It's typically a personal decision based on the persons specific situation.

    shawn1874
    shawn1874

    Derek, I'm not sure what your analogy is supposed to mean. You'll have to clarify. I shouldn't have to prove anything. I didn't write the article did I? I'm sure that people have many reasons for dropping insurance. In some cases it is because they don't drive anymore (don't need to) or can't afford to maintain or buy a car. I'm not sure that the decision has anything to do with prop 102 or prop 33 or any other proposition. It's typically a personal decision based on the persons specific situation.

    shawn fox
    shawn fox subscriber

    Yes, I'm sure that I have as many discounts as possible including that one. I'm insured with Allstate, and I don't believe that they insure high risk drivers anyway. I don't think that they even offer a so called "continuous coverage" discount. I certainly have not seen anything like that on my policy statements and I"ve been with them for many years.

    shawn1874
    shawn1874

    Yes, I'm sure that I have as many discounts as possible including that one. I'm insured with Allstate, and I don't believe that they insure high risk drivers anyway. I don't think that they even offer a so called "continuous coverage" discount. I certainly have not seen anything like that on my policy statements and I"ve been with them for many years.

    Derek Hofmann
    Derek Hofmann subscribermember

    Shawn, good luck proving that demand for auto insurance is perfectly inelastic!

    Derek
    Derek

    Shawn, good luck proving that demand for auto insurance is perfectly inelastic!

    jeff scott
    jeff scott subscriber

    Whenever the far left uses "oil companies" or "wealthy people" as a reason to vote "no" on something, this typically means vote for it.

    markavelli
    markavelli

    Whenever the far left uses "oil companies" or "wealthy people" as a reason to vote "no" on something, this typically means vote for it.

    shawn fox
    shawn fox subscriber

    If pricing is truly based on risk factors then there shouldn't be any exceptions to this kind of a rule. Not having insurance for some period of time either adds risk to your insurability or it doesn't. Perhaps if the supporters gave some more specific examples of how it saves money, then I'd be less skeptical. Saying that it will doesn't mean that it will. What's the evidence and where are the specific examples? It's just another example of different central planners arguing over how to set pricing. Pass or No Pass, it won't mean any more freedom for Californians.

    shawn1874
    shawn1874

    If pricing is truly based on risk factors then there shouldn't be any exceptions to this kind of a rule. Not having insurance for some period of time either adds risk to your insurability or it doesn't. Perhaps if the supporters gave some more specific examples of how it saves money, then I'd be less skeptical. Saying that it will doesn't mean that it will. What's the evidence and where are the specific examples? It's just another example of different central planners arguing over how to set pricing. Pass or No Pass, it won't mean any more freedom for Californians.