California Prop. 17 Auto Insurance initiative, good or bad?

Prop. 17 is set to appear on the June 8 ballot, promises annual savings of up to $250 for in auto insurance California drivers who maintain continuous insurance coverage, even if they change carriers. Sounds appealing, doesn’t it? But there’s a catch.

Prop. 17, according to the official summary prepared by the state Attorney General’s Office, also “will allow insurance companies to increase cost of insurance to drivers who do not have a history of continuous insurance coverage.”

Backers say letting drivers carry discounts from carrier to carrier would aid most drivers. Foes say the measure would make rates unaffordable for many new drivers.

Opponents also contend that the initiative would make rates unaffordable for many new drivers and those with tarnished records, boosting the number of uninsured cars on the road and thereby raising safety risks and eventually premiums for everyone.

The  proponents of Proposition 17 contend that passage would benefit more than 80% of California drivers because it would allow them to enjoy their continuous-coverage discounts — as much as $250 a year for some drivers — even if they switch carriers to take advantage of lower prices elsewhere.

In short, there will be winners and losers if Prop. 17 passes. Those that want cheap insurance will still save money but many more will pay more for car insurance.

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