California’s Prop. 103: Consumer Protection in Purchasing Auto Liability Insurance
Proposition 103 protects California consumers when purchasing and maintaining automobile insurance. Some of the key provisions of Prop. 103 are:
“Good Driver” Discount. A Good Driver is a person who has been licensed for at least 3 years and has no more than 1 point on his/her driving record. Every California insurance company must offer coverage for Good Drivers. No insurer can refuse to offer coverage if you qualify as a Good Driver and Good Driver discounts must be at least 20% lower than for other drivers.
Cancellation/Non-renewal Provisions. There are only 3 reasons an automobile policy can be canceled (or not renewed) once it is issued: fraud/material misrepresentation; non-payment; or substantial increase in the hazard insured against. Your insurance company must give you a 10 day written notice before it cancels your policy. This gives you an opportunity to pay the past due amount and keep your policy in force.
Uniform Insurance Rates. Prop.103 established uniform guidelines which determine your auto insurance rates. The primary factors are: the operator’s driving safety record; the number of miles driven annually; and the number of years of driving experience. In addition, there are 16 secondary rating factors which may be used to determine your specific rate. Secondary factors are not as important as primary factors. Secondary factors include gender, marital status, vehicle type, where your car is garaged, etc.
Many clients who have been injured in a car accident think that filing a claim for their injury will cause their insurance rates to increase. In addition to filing a claim against the other driver’s insurance, there may be additional benefits or compensation by filing a claim on your own policy as well. If you’ve been involved in a car accident and are unsure whether it is worthwhile to file a claim with your own insurance, give me a call and let’s talk about it.
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