Insurance Claims Practices. Civil Remedy
|Argument in Favor of Proposition 31|
Arguments on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.
Why did Governor Gray Davis and both Houses of the Legislature enact the Fair Insurance Responsibility Act?
Because too many insurance companies unfairly delay paying what they owe you and making your life miserable. Here is another example:
A woman in a crosswalk was hit by a reckless driver. The reckless driver's insurance company delayed paying her medical bills for years. Without the Fair Insurance Responsibility Act, she has no right to sue the bad driver's insurance company.
The Sacramento Bee editorial entitled: "Bad Faith. What happens when insurers refuse to pay? " described the problem this way:
" Some bozo driving the wrong way down a one-way street hits you. He's clearly in the wrong. Your car is totaled and you're gravely injured. Under the rules, his insurance company is supposed to pay you for the damages and injuries you've suffered ".
What happens when the insurance company refuses to pay? Without the Fair Insurance Responsibility Act you can't sue the insurance company.
In supporting the new law, the Bee went on to summarize how the Fair Insurance Responsibility Act addresses this consumer problem:
" On balance, SB 1237 (the Fair Insurance Responsibility Act) offers fair and needed protections to injured innocent victims and reasonable incentives for insurance companies to do the right and lawful thing ".
Consumers Union (the publisher of Consumer Reports), the Congress of California Seniors, the Consumer Federation, and United Policyholders--all supported the Governor and Legislature enacting the Fair Insurance Responsibility Act.
The insurance companies' campaign ads falsely accuse Governor Gray Davis and the Legislature of giving drunk drivers the right to sue under this new law.
Governor Davis' office responded: "That's certainly not what the legislation does. Governor Davis signed measures that are good public policy and protect individuals from being treated unfairly."
The Fair Insurance Responsibility Act specifically prohibits drunk drivers from suing and does not give uninsured motorists the right to sue you.
No matter what the insurance company campaign says, the truth is Governor Davis did not change Proposition 213 which prohibits uninsured drivers from suing for pain and suffering.
The insurance companies are also falsely accusing Governor Davis of signing a law which raises your premiums.
The truth is that insurance companies penalized for violating this law cannot pass on those penalties to consumers by raising your premiums. Read California's law yourself: "Bad faith judgments and associated loss adjustment expenses" are "excluded expenses" for setting insurance company premiums.
The Los Angeles Times calls the insurance companies' campaign "a $50 million corporate effort . . . playing a complicated game with voters . . . hiding behind a consumer veil."
Support your rights. Support what Governor Gray Davis signed. He did the right thing. Vote "Yes" to approve the Fair Insurance Responsibility Act.HOWARD L. OWENS
Executive Director, Consumer Federation of California
President, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety
KAY McVAY, RN
President, California Nurses Association
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