National Organization for Women CA Opposes Prop 33


Posted on 01 November 2012

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By Patty Bellasalma

In today's tight economy, Proposition 33 will strain women's finances by raising automobile insurance rates, gouging those already living on the financial edge who can least afford it.

Women are busy with their families and their jobs so we don't always feel like we have the time to get engaged in politics or even take the time to vote. History has proven that when we don't show up and vote, we are negatively impacted. This is why we need to vote No on Proposition 33, which would raise auto insurance rates on good drivers.

Because context is everything, we analyze not just the proposition itself. We examine who the author and funders are, and who stands to benefit. Mercury Insurance's billionaire Chairman George Joseph has spent tens of millions of his company's funds over the past decade attempting to change California's insurance code. He is personally funding Prop 33 to the tune of $16.4 million so his company will benefit.

In California, insurance rates are based on a driver's risk of having an accident. Proposition 33 was written to allow insurers to circumvent current regulations and tack a new surcharge onto good drivers if they didn't have car insurance for more than 90 days at any time in the last five years. Even a perfect driving record wouldn't protect you from rate increases. In states where the Prop 33 type of surcharge is legal, Mercury adds surcharges of 50% or more for a break in coverage.

These are difficult times for millions of Californian women and men. If you are unemployed, temporarily disabled, or going to college, it might make sense to save some money by suspending your insurance while you are not driving. But when you get back behind the wheel you would pay a penalty if Proposition 33 becomes the law.

Prop 33 would hit lower income families the hardest. But its ripple effects will cost all of us. When insurance rates increase dramatically on those least able to pay, more motorists will end up driving without insurance. That will increase the cost of uninsured motorist coverage on everyone's policies.

If Prop 33 passes, one billionaire gets to write his own insurance rules.

It's a deceptive trick to raise rates on motorists.

California NOW recommends that everyone get out and vote no on Prop 33 on November 6.

Learn more at noonprop33.consumercal.org and stopprop33.consumerwatchdogcampaign.org


Patty Bellasalma is President of the California chapter of the National Organization for Women.