Proposition 33, an initiative to let auto insurers offer discounts to competitors' customers, isn't quite the same as Proposition 17, a similar proposal that voters rejected in 2010. But the campaign in favor of the measure seems to be following the same truth-distorting playbook.
The Yes on Proposition 33 campaign has bought airtime on 19 radio stations in five cities for what appears to be its first commercial, which is due to begin broadcasting Wednesday. The 30-second spot declares: "Proposition 33 protects our veterans and military families, and allows them to keep their discount on car insurance, saving them money."
It would do nothing of the kind.
Under current law, insurers are allowed to offer discounts to existing customers who renew their policies. Those are loyalty discounts. Like Proposition 17, Proposition 33 would create a new type of discount, one that insurers could offer to new customers who'd been previously insured by a different company.
So, right off the bat, we know that Proposition 33 won't allow anyone to "keep their discount." The markdowns it creates are available only to people who leave one company for another, putting themselves in a different rate structure and, most likely, paying a different price.