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Watchdog group says new rules give insurance companies all the power

In many states in America, auto insurance is a requirement. This is a good thing since that means any accidents that happen will be sure to have coverage by both drivers. The problem according to some drivers and insurance companies is that drivers that drive more miles and have a higher chance of accidents pay the same amount as drivers who drive significantly less.

California is closer to allowing insurance companies to sell insurance by the mile to drivers. This would mean that drivers who drive more would pay more than others would. The Sacramento Bee reports that Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has released regulations that will permit and authorizes insurance companies to verify mileage as part of insurance plans based on miles driven.

The ultimate goal of the new insurance plan in California isn’t to save drivers money, but to encourage people to drive less. Less driving will reduce the pollution in California, the number of accidents and ease traffic congestion according to lawmakers. California isn't the only state with insurance plans based on miles driven. Texas has such plans provided by a company called MileMeter that offers six month policies with chunks of mileage ranging from 1,000 miles to 6,000 miles.

MileMeter CEO Chris Gay said, "We absolutely anticipate coming to California." He continued, "Our take is that half the market out there is being overcharged and underserved – and that's who we aim to address."

Conventional mileage based policies would reportedly take an estimate of projected mileage for a year and then refund or bill the driver depending on the actual miles driven. Mileage could be verified in several ways such as at smog check stations, DMV records, and via electronic devices attached to the car.

The fear with mileage based insurance plans is that there will be a push to charge drivers to drive longer distances each year more money in insurance rates. However, there is reportedly no plan to do that at this time.

Two thirds of homes in the country would save about $270 per year per car with mileage based plans according to a study from Brookings. However, Carmen Balber from Consumer Watchdog says that the new policies cater to the insurance industry and don’t require the premiums to reduce when driving does.

"I think the regulations were drafted to guarantee that insurers win, because they were left with all of the choice," Balber said.

Insurance companies are taking the new proposal seriously and Michael Gunning, VP of the Personal Insurance Federation of California said, "Given the competitive nature of the marketplace, I think this is going to be a selling point for companies."

The members of the federation write more than 50% of all auto policies in California. Drivers concerned about their privacy with policies requiring a device be connected to the car need not be concerned according to lawmakers. Regulations prevent the devices from recording location information about the vehicle. However, Balber maintains that the mileage devices give insurance companies a foot in the door to push for the right to collect other data. Future policies could possibly rate drivers higher if they drive in high crime areas frequently.

There are also proposals in the works that would regulate gas taxes on a per-mile basis using GPS tracking.

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RE: California is stupid
By TSS on 11/10/2009 3:21:28 PM , Rating: 0
Why did you get rated up? Has America really become that naïve?

Approved resources for the period from 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010 About $7.75 billion
The $52 billion request for the State Department and foreign aid programs would total 27 percent more than the $40.9 billion enacted in fiscal 2009

foreign aid and the UN added 50 billion to fiscal 2009's 1420 billion budget deficit. you can force the UN and foreign countries to pay you double what you paid them and still it wouldn't even show up on the radar. Lets assume you did though.

And then build a time machine and stop the wars from ever happening but instead, pour that money into a jar and release it in fiscal '09. But then your still short 340 billion. oh wait!

Lets reverse ol George's tax cuts while where back in time anyway, that should give a good 2,1 trillion not spent. Ofcourse taxes over the last 8 years would've been higher, meaning this crisis would've hit even harder/sooner, but lets ignore that for now, and pay off last year's deficit (2,1 trillion - 340 billion = 1.76 trillion).

In addition, future deficits are currently projected to total $9.1 trillion in the coming decade.


I'd better watch it with your language if i where you. If other countries cut their chains, america as we know it is done for. I wanted to say "watch it the time may come where you depend on others yourself" but that's been true for the past 2 decades already.

And you have NOBODY to blame for your current predicament but yourselves, and the leaders YOU voted into power (not you specifically but the american people as a whole).

"If you mod me down, I will become more insightful than you can possibly imagine." -- Slashdot

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