Insurance Claims Practices. Civil Remedy
|Argument Against Proposition 31|
Arguments on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.
Personal injury lawyers wrote Proposition 31 (and Prop. 30) so they could file more lawsuits that will increase insurance rates.
The Contra Costa Times says ". . . we can expect more litigation, increased transaction costs and higher insurance rates . . . hardly the consumer-friendly bill its proponents claim."
If Propositions 31 or 30 pass, fee-seeking personal injury lawyers reap billions of dollars from new lawsuits. Unfortunately, your insurance premiums will skyrocket.
Under these laws, your insurer is threatened by a separate lawsuit for huge punitive damages whenever it refuses to pay a bloated settlement demand in a claim filed against you. When a law like Propositions 31 and 30 existed in the 1980s, auto injury lawsuits filed in California nearly doubled and insurance rates skyrocketed. When the Supreme Court prohibited these abusive lawsuits, insurance rates dropped substantially.
PROPOSITION 31 EXEMPTS LAWYERS
- Prop. 31, like Prop. 30, is unnecessary. If an injured consumer believes that a settlement offer from an insurance company is too low, he or she can already take that case to court for a jury to decide the appropriate payment.
- Additionally, if treated unfairly, consumers can file a complaint with the state Insurance Commissioner's Enforcement Division.
- Propositions 31 and 30 add a whole new lawsuit on top of the first one. That means higher rat
- es for consumers. The former state Legislative Analyst predicts Proposition 31 could raise your insurance premiums up to 15%--about $300 a year for a typical consumer.
- Prop. 31 and 30 will result in more fraud, giving unscrupulous personal injury lawyers a powerful tool to force insurance companies to pay suspect claims.
- Worse, Proposition 31 changes the law so lawbreakers--like drunk drivers and people who drive without insurance--can file new multi-million dollar lawsuits for punitive damages.
Proposition 31 is a scam. When political problems emerged in Proposition 30, personal injury lawyers wrote Proposition 31, and passed it the same day without a public hearing.
But they made things worse. They wrote provisions to protect their own insurers from these bad laws so their own insurance rates would not increase!
" People who can least afford higher insurance premiums are hurt most. While $300 may not seem like a lot to some, too many seniors on fixed incomes and low-income families cannot afford the insurance increase from Proposition 31."
--The Seniors Coalition
"To enrich themselves, personal injury lawyers seem willing to pick the pockets of working men and women. We urge a No vote on Props. 31 and 30. "
--California Mexican American Chamber of Commerce
" Propositions 31 and 30 could easily cost taxpayers millions of dollars annually in higher insurance costs for schools, cities and other local government. "
Former State Legislative Analyst
" Schools are especially hard-hit. We should not be forced by higher insurance and lawsuit settlement costs to spend money that should be used to improve classroom instruction. "
--Schools Excess Liability Fund (SELF)
PROPOSITION 31 AND 30 HURT AVERAGE PEOPLE TO ENRICH PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS.
SAY NO TO A BAD LAW.HARRIET C. SALARNO
President, Crime Victims United of California
President, California State Firefighters' Association
BETTY JO TOCCOLI
Chair, California Small Business Roundtable
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