California insurance coverage commissioner to examine injustice in vehicle premiums – OCRegister

10May 2019

If some California motorists pay minimized vehicle insurance coverage premiums because they‘re part of a group strategy, does that hike rates for other low-income motorists?

That’s what California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara wishes to know. Stimulated by grievances his department has received from customer companies, Laura has arranged an investigatory hearing for later this year in Los Angeles to get to the bottom of the issue.

The session is set for Sept. 17 at the Ronald Reagan State Structure in L.A.

“We‘ve been hearing grievances for a number of years now,” Lara stated. “Customer groups are hesitant of this. They’re stating it impacts rates for low-income motorists, so I chose to get the facts.”

Affinity groups

Lara wishes to find out if insurance providers who lower vehicle rates for individuals in group plans end up treking premiums for lower-income motorists. California law allows insurance providers to issue coverage on a group strategy which lowers vehicle rates for specific “affinity groups,” consisting of expert companies and alumni associations.

“It tends to be expert folks who are marked down,” Lara stated. “Working class individuals might not have access to those very same discount rates.”

In February, Santa Monica-based Customer Guard dog and a host of community companies petitioned Lara to ban making use of profession and education to set vehicle insurance coverage premiums. The petition explains that criteria as “very finely veiled surrogates for ethnic culture, race and wealth.”

Lara stated budget-friendly vehicle insurance coverage can increase a person’s economic mobility through access to work and higher-paying jobs. Yet approximately half of Californians can’t manage it although it’s required by law.

The California Department of Insurance is responsible for the evaluation and approval of vehicle insurance coverage premiums in the state to ensure they are fair and based upon unbiased factors. The 1988 voter-enacted Proposition 103 established the mandatory criteria to include a chauffeur’s driving security record, miles driven and years of driving experience, followed by optional factors the commissioner might permit.

Carmen Balber, Customer Guard dog’s executive director, used her thoughts on Lara’s upcoming hearing:

“We’re delighted the department is examining this,” she stated. “It’s long past due because it impacts low-income minority communities so unjustly. But we don’t believe it needs to take up until September for the hearing. And it’s arranged for 10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning … that’s when all of the people who are getting damaged need to be at work.”

Lara stated he will at first ask insurance providers to willingly provide their rate information. If they fail to do so, he will issue subpoenas to get the information.

California among the most expensive states

A recent report from Insure.com shows California is the country’s 6th most expensive state for car insurance coverage, with a typical annual premium of $1,846.

That’s $389, or 27% greater than the nationwide average of $1,457.

The list was topped by Michigan, where the average annual rate is $2,611, followed by Louisiana ($2,298), Florida ($2,219), Oklahoma ($1,966) and the District of Columbia rounding out the top 5 with $1,876.

On the flip-side, Maine boasts the most affordable annual premium of just $845.

“In most cases, a high number of uninsured motorists combined with less than stellar weather condition and high population density led these states onto the most expensive states for car insurance coverage list,” Insure.com reported.Source: ocregister.com

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