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'Insured Chaos' in California

May 20, 1988

I wholeheartedly agree with your characterization of the insurance initiative wars as "long on noise and confusion" and your concise assessment that what is "needed is some measure that lowers the costs of the entire system of auto compensation and also ensures that the resulting savings are passed on to consumers." You're right, the way to cut costs is to limit litigation by adopting a no-fault insurance system.

Given that, it's hard to understand why you say the Nader/Voter Revolt initiative is the least objectionable. Is it just because it's not sponsored by the insurance industry or the trial lawyers?

The Nader/Voter Revolt and the Insurance Consumer Action Network initiatives merely treat the symptoms--they fail to address the underlying costs of the auto insurance system which created the problem. These initiatives offer a pseudo-fix of unrealistic rate reductions and unnecessary regulations which haven't worked in other states, like Massachusetts and New Jersey, and won't work in California.

In fact, if successful, the Nader/Voter Revolt initiative would remove the current territorial rating system. That would result in a 22% rate increase for almost two-thirds of the insured vehicles in the state, according to a new study on territorial rating released recently by state Insurance Commissioner Roxani Gillespie.

Only the no-fault initiative will stop spiraling insurance premiums because it eliminates unnecessary costs from the insurance system. Under a no-fault system, there is no need to go to court to establish fault for injuries because all victims are guaranteed speedy compensation from their own insurance companies. By creating reforms in the system, no-fault will reduce the cost of our auto insurance.

PATRICIA LOMBARD

Director of Communications

Western Insurance

Information Service

Santa Ana

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