Prop 33 drives car insurance debate

SAN DIEGO-- With one week until the election Proposition 33 is driving a serious debate about how much California consumers should pay for car insurance.

Prop 33 would let insurance companies set prices based on the driver's history of insurance coverage.

The ballot measure would allow companies to offer continuous coverage discounts to lure customers from other companies.

The proposition would also allow car insurance companies to charge uninsured drivers more.

Proposition 33 has a wide array of bipartisan support, but the most prominent advocate for the measure is billionaire and Mercury Insurance Group Founder George Joseph.

California voters struck down a similar measure, Prop 17, back in 2010.

Prop 33 has exemptions for people who’ve lost their jobs and lapsed coverage for less than 90 days.

Active members of the military would also get continuous coverage discounts.

“When they put on their uniform and go over seas to protect our nation they put their cars in storage,” veteran and VFW member Steve Arends said.  “Right now they have to pay a surcharge when they come back from combat.”

Opponents of the measure say 33 would lead to price discrimination, because it allows companies to charge expensive surcharges to people who haven’t had insurance.

Consumer advocate Harvy Rosenfield said, “When was the last time an auto-insurance company and its executives put a measure on the ballot to save you money? The answer is never.”