According to word on the street, Mercury Insurance has had to throw away the signatures they’ve been paying for for the last week or so. Apparently, they mixed up the initiative that the Attorney General reviewed for circulation with a different version that did not receive an official title and summary from the AG. While it’s a costly error, Mercury Insurance and its founder George Joseph have an endless pot of money devoted to destroying consumer protections.
The initiative would allow auto insurers to raise drivers’ rates when they file a claim – even if they weren’t at-fault, such as when they are rear-ended while waiting at a stoplight. It would also allow insurers to increase the premium of customers who have had a lapse in coverage during the past five years.
The Attorney General’s Title and Summary of the initiative (the one Mercury was authorized to circulate) reads:
ALLOWS INSURANCE COMPANIES TO INCREASE OR DECREASE THE COST OF
AUTO INSURANCE BASED ON A DRIVER’S COVERAGE HISTORY. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
Allows insurance companies to raise the cost of auto insurance based on
the absence of prior automobile insurance coverage. Allows insurance
companies to lower the cost of auto insurance for drivers who have
continuously maintained auto insurance coverage, even if they change
insurance companies. Allows insurance companies to consider “claims
experience” when calculating the amount of any such reduction or when
determining which drivers will be eligible for it. Summary of estimate
by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on
state and local governments: The measure would have no significant
fiscal impact on state and local governments. (09-0021.)
More about the initiative is available here.