I’m going to happy hour tonight, and the whole office is coming with me. It’s a rare occurrence that anyone around here leaves the office before 5pm, let alone all of us at the same time. But we’ve got reason to celebrate.
This year is the 20th anniversary of when voters approved insurance-reform initiative Proposition 103, written by Consumer Watchdog’s own Harvey Rosenfield. Yesterday, the DC-based Consumer Federation of America released a report that found Prop 103’s tough insurance regulation has saved California drivers $62 billion on our auto insurance premiums. That’s 62 billions, not millions. The report went on to highlight all the ways Prop 103 has made California’s auto insurance market better for consumers, and insurers, than any other state in the nation.
Some other major California findings in the report:
• California is first among all states in holding down insurance
premiums, with a 12.9 percent increase compared to an average national
increase of 50 percent
• California is the fourth most competitive auto insurance market in
the nation, while completely unregulated Illinois ranks 44th
• Changes to auto insurance rules that will take effect this summer will continue to lower rates for good drivers
• Auto insurers fare as well as consumers in California, with strong profits over the last ten years of 10.1%
Then, our legal team won a victory just hours after the report was released. A San Francisco court ruled that Allstate could not delay a $250 million auto insurance rate reduction that the insurance commissioner ordered last month under Prop 103. That ruling will save Allstate’s approximately 2 million drivers around $124 each, and goes into effect on Monday.
In the end, all of these rules mean more money in Californians’ pockets, thanks to strong oversight of insurance companies. Worth a toast or two on Friday afternoon, I think.