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State of California November 6, 2012 Election
Proposition 33
Auto Insurance Companies. Prices Based on Driver's History of Insurance Coverage
State of California

Initiative Statute - Majority Approval Required

Fail: 5,441,219 / 45.1% Yes votes ...... 6,633,713 / 54.9% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Results as of Dec 3 10:07pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (24491/24491)
Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Yes/No Meaning | Official Information | Arguments |

Should automobile insurance companies be permitted to offer a discount to drivers who have continuously maintained their insurance coverage, even if they change their insurance company?

Summary Prepared by the State Attorney General:

  • Changes current law to allow insurance companies to set prices based on whether the driver previously carried auto insurance with any insurance company.
  • Allows insurance companies to give proportional discounts to drivers with some history of prior insurance coverage.
  • Will allow insurance companies to increase cost of insurance to drivers who have not maintained continuous coverage.
  • Treats drivers with lapse as continuously covered if lapse is due to military service or loss of employment, or if lapse is less than 90 days.

Fiscal Impact from the Legislative Analyst's Office:
Probably no significant fiscal effect on state insurance premium tax revenues.

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
Insurance companies could offer new customers a discount on automobile insurance premiums based on the number of years in the previous five years that the customer was insured.

A NO vote on this measure means:
Insurers could continue to provide discounts to their long-term automobile insurance customers, but would continue to be prohibited from providing a discount to new customers switching from other insurers.

Official Sources of Information
Arguments Submitted

Summary of Arguments FOR Proposition 33:
Californians with car insurance earn a discount for following the law. But if you switch companies you lose the discount. Proposition 33 allows you the freedom to change insurance companies and keep your discount. Proposition 33 makes insurance companies compete, helps lower rates, and will insure more drivers.

Summary of Arguments AGAINST Proposition 33:
Proposition 33 is another deceptive insurance company trick. Insurance companies spent millions to pass a similar law in 2010--voters defeated it. Proposition 33 allows auto insurers to raise premiums on responsible drivers up to $1,000, unfairly punishing people who stopped driving for legitimate reasons. Consumer advocates OPPOSE Prop. 33.
Contact FOR Proposition 33:
Yes On 33--2012 Auto Insurance Discount Act
1415 L Street, Suite 410
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 448-3444

Contact AGAINST Proposition 33:
Consumer Watchdog Campaign
(310) 392-0522

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Arguments For Proposition 33 Arguments Against Proposition 33


California law requires all drivers to buy automobile insurance. Approximately 85% of California drivers follow the law and buy insurance. If you follow the law and maintain continuous automobile insurance coverage, you are currently eligible for a discount, but only if you stay with the same insurance company.

Current law punishes you for seeking better insurance or trying to get a better deal by taking away your discount for being continuously insured.

Proposition 33 corrects this problem and offers this discount to consumers who maintain automobile insurance with any company. Proposition 33 allows you to shop for a better insurance deal.

Leaders from both parties, Democrats and Republicans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American GI Forum of California, firefighters, small business owners, individual consumers, and Chambers of Commerce join in their support of Proposition 33. VOTE YES ON PROPOSITION 33. It rewards those who follow the law.

The reward you get for being responsible and following the law is yours to keep under Proposition 33, even if you exercise your right to move to a different insurance company. That is why some insurance companies like Proposition 33 and others don’t. It creates competition. Your neighborhood insurance agents support Proposition 33 because it will force insurance companies to compete for your business.

We encourage you to read Proposition 33. It is simple. It makes sense.

VOTE YES ON PROPOSITION 33 because you should get the discount that you have earned, regardless of which insurance company you pick.

Proposition 33 also encourages those who don’t have insurance to obtain it, because Proposition 33 makes it easier to earn the continuous coverage discount. You get a share of the discount for every full year you are insured. The longer you are insured, the greater the discount. This encourages uninsured drivers to become insured and make our roads safer.

Proposition 33 provides other protections as well:

  • If you are active military, Proposition 33 says you will not lose the discount. That’s why our military families, led by the American GI Forum and Veterans of Foreign Wars, say Yes on Proposition 33.
  • If you are laid off or furloughed, Proposition 33 allows you to keep your status as a continuously covered driver for up to 18 months.
  • Under Proposition 33, driving age children get the discount whether they are living with their parents or are away at school.
  • Proposition 33 allows you to miss payments for 90 days for any reason and remain eligible for this discount.

Proposition 33 will result in more competition between insurance companies and better insurance rates because you will be able to shop around for insurance without losing your discount.

In California, you must have automobile insurance. You deserve a reward for following the law. VOTE YES ON PROPOSITION 33.

ROBERT T. WOLF, President
CDF Firefighters
Small Business Owner
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

Rebuttal to Arguments For

Working Californians have it hard enough these days. We shouldn’t have to pay more for auto insurance because of another insurance industry trick.

Proposition 33 is funded 99% by one insurance industry billionaire who says he wants to save drivers money on their auto insurance.

When was the last time an insurance company executive spent $8 million on a ballot initiative to save you money?

Prop. 33 will raise rates on drivers with perfect driving records. This initiative unfairly punishes people who stopped driving for legitimate reasons—like going to college, recovering from a serious injury or taking public transportation—when they return to the insurance market.

California law prevents auto insurance companies from charging people more simply because they had not driven previously or were too poor to drive in the past. Prop. 33 will allow insurance companies to start surcharging millions of Californians.

Voters already said No in 2010 when this billionaire’s insurance company spent $16 million to pass a similar initiative. Now he’s at it again.

People who take mass transit to work shouldn’t pay more for their auto insurance when they start driving again.

Unemployed Californians shouldn’t pay more when they get another job and start driving again.

People who have to drop their insurance because of a serious illness shouldn’t pay more when they recover and get back on the road.

Proposition 33 will raise auto insurance rates. Tell this insurance company billionaire it’s not okay to deregulate auto insurance.

Vote No On Proposition 33.

California Nurses Association
RICHARD HOLOBER, Executive Director
Consumer Federation of California
JAMIE COURT, President
Consumer Watchdog

Consumer advocates agree: NO ON PROPOSITION 33—It’s another deceptive insurance company trick to raise auto insurance rates for millions of responsible drivers in California.

Mercury Insurance spent $16 million on a similar initiative in 2010. Californians rejected it.

Now they’re at it again. Mercury Insurance’s billionaire chairman George Joseph has already spent $8 million to fund Proposition 33. When was the last time an insurance company billionaire spent a fortune to save you money?

Proposition 33 unfairly punishes anyone who stopped driving for a good reason but now needs insurance to get back behind the wheel. Proposition 33 “will allow insurance companies to increase cost of insurance,” according to the Attorney General’s Official Summary—even on motorists with perfect driving records.

Proposition 33 is a cleverly worded initiative that says one thing and does another. Beware: the California Department of Insurance has said the so-called “continuous coverage discount” scheme “will result in a surcharge” for many California drivers. That’s why Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, opposes Prop. 33.

Proposition 33 raises insurance rates for students completing college who now need to drive to a new job.

Proposition 33 raises insurance rates for people who dropped their coverage while recuperating from a serious illness or injury that kept them off the road.

Prop. 33 deregulates the insurance industry, making big insurance companies less accountable—which is why this measure is 99% funded by an insurance billionaire whose company, Mercury Insurance, has a record of overcharging consumers. The California Department of Insurance says Mercury has “a deserved reputation for abusing its customers and intentionally violating the law with arrogance and indifference.”

No on 33: It penalizes responsible drivers who did not need auto insurance in the past.

Prop. 33 allows insurance companies to charge dramatically higher rates to customers with perfect driving records, just because they had not purchased auto insurance at some point during the past five years. Drivers must pay this unfair penalty even if they did not own a car or need insurance at the time.

No on 33: It hurts California’s middle-class families.

In states where the Proposition 33 surcharge is legal, the result is HIGHER PREMIUMS:

  • Texans can pay 61% more.
  • Nevadans, 79% more.
  • Floridians, 103% more.

No on 33: It leads to more uninsured motorists, costing us all more.

According to the California Department of Insurance, the financial penalty insurance companies want to impose “discourages [people] from buying insurance, which may add to the number of uninsured motorists and ultimately drives up the cost of the uninsured motorist coverage for every insured.”

MORE UNINSURED DRIVERS hurts taxpayers and the state.

No on Prop. 33: Californians already rejected a nearly identical proposal in 2010. Let’s make it clear to these powerful special interests that No means No.

Don’t give insurance companies more power to raise our rates.

VOTE NO on PROP. 33. It’s too good to be true.

Learn more at

Consumer Watchdog
West Coast Office and State Campaigns, Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports
NAN BRASMER, President
California Alliance for Retired Americans

Rebuttal to Arguments Against

Californians with car insurance earn a discount for following the law—but under current law, if you switch companies, you lose your discount.

Proposition 33 fixes this by allowing you to keep this reward and shop for a better deal with another company.

The opposition is using scare tactics and ugliness. Yes, Proposition 33 supporter and World War II Vet George Joseph built a successful company by providing customer service and low rates that Californians support.

Read Proposition 33 for the truth.

Firefighters and the California Association of Highway Patrolmen support Proposition 33 because they want everyone insured and the opportunity for all Californians to shop for a better automobile insurance deal.

The Greenlining Institute—a consumer group founded to fight unfair business practices—supports Proposition 33 because it protects consumers and allows this discount to everyone who has followed the law.

  • Proposition 33 allows drivers to switch insurance companies and keep their continuous coverage discount.
  • Proposition 33 rewards drivers for following the law and maintaining car insurance with any company you choose.
  • Proposition 33 makes it easier to switch insurance companies, leading to more competition and lower rates for all.
  • Proposition 33 protects consumers and applies the continuous coverage discount to everyone who follows the law.
  • Proposition 33 protects military families, consumers who are unemployed or furloughed, and student drivers, and would provide incentives for uninsured drivers to purchase insurance.

Veterans groups, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars and GI Forum support Proposition 33.

Vote Yes on Proposition 33.

ROBERT T. WOLF, President
CDF Firefighters
California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
SAMUEL KANG, General Counsel
The Greenlining Institute

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Created: December 17, 2012 13:48 PST
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