AirTalk for May 17, 2010

Prop 17: Who would the car insurance initiative benefit?

Mercer 7521

David McNew/Getty Images

Traffic is seen on a hazy day in downtown Los Angeles, California on April 4, 2007

It's a low-profile measure on the June ballot, but Proposition 17 could have a direct impact on your auto insurance bills. If it passes, California insurance companies will be allowed to give what are known as "persistency discounts" to new customers who have had continuous or nearly continuous auto insurance coverage. Proponents say it would increase competition, lower rates and be good for consumers. Critics argue the initiative, sponsored primarily by Mercury Insurance, would legalize surcharges of up to $1000 per person for customers who’ve had a lapse in coverage. So would it mean rate hikes or dips for motorists?

Guests:

Mike D’Arelli, Executive Director, Alliance of Insurance Agents & Brokers, representing Yes on 17

Harvey Rosenfield, Founder, Consumer Watchdog (formerly The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights), representing No on 17. He is also the author of Prop 103


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