California Judge Rejects Changes to Prop 33 Ballot Label

August 10, 2012

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley has rejected in full arguments in a lawsuit by the insurance industry backers of California’s Proposition 33 and upheld the Attorney General’s Ballot Label as “Changes Law to Allow Auto Insurance Companies to Set Prices Based on a Driver’s History of Insurance Coverage,” according to the consumer advocacy group, Consumer Watchdog.

Frawley also upheld all statements made by consumer advocates against the initiative in the ballot pamphlet, including those that Prop 33 would deregulate the insurance industry and raise rates for good drivers across the state.

Proposition 33 is funded 99 percent by George Joseph, whose company, Mercury Insurance, sponsored a nearly identical initiative (Proposition 17) just two years ago. It was rejected by the voters despite $16 million in campaign spending by Mercury.

Lawyers for consumer and senior advocates who authored the ballot arguments against Prop 33 explain that Mercury was misleading the court by failing to acknowledge that the ballot initiative would repeal a civil rights protection against redlining enacted by voters in 1988.

According to consumer advocates, Prop 33 will increase premiums for Californians with perfect driving records who stop driving and have a lapse in insurance coverage for good reasons — such as going back to school, a serious illness, long-term unemployment or using public transit.

Source: Consumer Watchdog

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