The state of California requires that I maintain a minimum level of liability insurance on my vehicle. I completely agree but the state makes this requirement, then abandons me to the tender mercies of the private insurance companies. Since it’s the state that requires liability insurance, I argue that it’s the state’s responsibility to provide that insurance through a state agency. In effect, the state agency would serve as a nonprofit insurer, responsible to the voters. We could expect lower, fair and consistent premiums with an avenue for appeal to a neutral adjuster.
I’m paying a whopping 54 cents a mile for minimal liability insurance with an unblemished driving record and no limitations on my license. If you drive 10,000 miles a year, at that rate, you would be paying $5,400 a year for liability coverage. In two years, my rates have been raised 29 percent with absurd and opaque “explanations.” At first I was told there had been an “across-the-board mandate,” then later, that I had been put into a mysterious “pool” of drivers. Huh?
Despite the unctuous TV ads telling us how much they care about us, the insurance companies goals are simple — maximize income while minimizing outgo. I can easily pay this bloated premium but being gouged sticks in my craw and I’m guessing that most of you feel the same way. Is there a way we can petition our Assembly to give us state-provided auto insurance? Can we go through a referendum process and put a proposition on the ballot? Or are we just helpless captives of the insurance companies?