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Prop. 103 and the 'Insurance Mess'

November 19, 1988

The day after Proposition 103 passed, I received my insurance bill with a 20% increase, and I've had no tickets or accidents. Included with my bill was a pre-printed letter that explained: "The exchange issues or renews more than 52,000 policies every month and has not yet been able to calculate and apply the rates required by Proposition 103. Moreover, the exchange would be threatened with insolvency if it were forced to provide the reductions required by Proposition 103 and has applied for exemption from rate rollback requirements."

In the meantime I had read in The Times, that Atty. Gen. John K. Van de Kamp said: "If you receive your insurance bill without a 20% rollback, you should call the California Department of Insurance. I did, and I was told, what is now history, that the California Supreme Court had stayed Proposition 103.

How do the insurance companies get a 20% rollback, out of a 20% increase? Most people knew, that shortly after 103 qualified for the ballot, the insurance companies raised their rates.

Still they bemoan, and they claim they'll have to take there business out of state, or go bankrupt, when all that it really amounts to is a freeze on raising their rates. Where's all this money they've lost? Or is it we're supposed to pay for their $70 million ad campaign to defeat 103?--which was the policyholders' money anyway.

As far as I'm concerned, their refusal to insure homes and renew automobile policies is an insurers' boycott.

It's a sorry day for Californians when our voices can't be heard, and we're terrorized by a business, whose job is to provide a service for customers, which they are required to have by law. No wonder insurance firms don't want to be regulated when they can hold an entire state hostage to their demands.

STEVE WEATHERWAX

Los Angeles

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