Court Rejects Insurance Industry Attack on Garamendi Good Driver Regulations

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ — In a Thursday decision, a Sacramento Superior Court rejected an insurance industry attack on good driver regulations adopted by Insurance Commissioner Garamendi last fall.

Insurance companies filed a lawsuit to block the regulations, which implement 1988’s Proposition 103 requirement that insurers base auto insurance premiums on a motorist’s driving record rather than where he or she lives. Garamendi issued the rules after three years of public hearings and study in response to a petition by consumer and community groups.

Consumer advocates say that by forcing insurers to comply with the new regulations, this ruling will protect good drivers throughout California who have been overcharged due to the unfair ZIP code rating scheme allowed under the old rules, which were developed by disgraced former Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush.

Although the insurers’ lawsuit asking the Court to block Garamendi’s rules claims that the rules could not be implemented fairly, some insurance companies have already filed rating plans with the Department of Insurance that comply with the new rules. In July, Auto Club of Southern California adopted a new pricing formula and USAA announced in August it was complying with the new rules. In both instances, the companies announced that the vast majority of their customers would also see rate decreases.

Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights

CONTACT: Carmen Balber, +1-310-392-0522, ext. 324, orDoug Heller, +1-310-392-0522, ext. 309, both of the Foundation for Taxpayerand Consumer Rights