Mercury Insurance’s controversial Proposition 17 has been resurrected and made its way to California’s November ballot. The proposition received funding from George Joseph, the billionaire chairman of the insurance company. The money was enough to bring the proposition back to life after it had been struck down by voters in 2010. Now, voters will have another opportunity to weigh in on the proposition, but there may be no guarantee that their efforts will put an end to the insurer’s plans for good.
The proposition aims to make changes to Proposition 103, which prohibits insurers from raising the rates on coverage for drivers that have had no coverage in the past and those that had sporadic coverage because they had chosen not to drive for any period of time. Proposition 17 would make this law null and avoid and allow insurers to raise rates for drivers with sporadic coverage. Consumer advocacy groups claim that this will raise rates on auto insurance by approximately 40%.
Mercury Insurance’s propositions have not done well with voters in the past and the company’s most recent initiative may not have enough clout to pass the ballot. With consumer advocates rallying against the proposition, the prospects for the potential law are somewhat barren. Nonetheless, Mercury will continue to campaign for the proposition, hoping to win enough favor with voters to get it passed into law.
California insurance industry and consumer news reports.