What say you people on this one?

Should the Governor sign this law?

Some consumers could see increases of more than 60 percent on car insurance rates if Gov. Sonny Perdue signs a bill passed during the 2008 legislative session that would allow insurance companies to raise rates without justifying them to regulators, Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine warns.

Part of me thinks he should and then let the market set the rates — not the Insurance Commissioner.

At the same time, insurance companies are more oligopolies than free market competitors — like the airlines, if one raises rates the others follow. Likewise, it’s not exactly convenient to wheel and deal between companies as rates fluctuate. Most people stick with the one they know.

4 comments

  1. Rogue109 says:

    Likewise, it’s not exactly convenient to wheel and deal between companies as rates fluctuate. Most people stick with the one they know.

    That may be, but restraining market forces because some people may be lazy isn’t a good idea, either.

  2. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    It’s too bad, because the portion of the bill dealing with stacking Uninsured Motorist coverage (Which was the original bill) is consumer-friendly. I’m not opposed to dergulating rates, but the market is already highly competitive in GA with only one major auto insurer not writing in GA. I do think a 5% flex rating would be the way to go though. That is, an insurer shouldn’t need the Commissioner’s approval if the insurer is increasing/decreasing rates by 5% or less.

  3. Dave Bearse says:

    You need only consider natural gas companies recent creation of “new” plans to attract new customers while sticking it to existing customers to know this won’t be good for consumers.

  4. gawatch says:

    Comparing natural gas to auto insurance is apples to oranges. There are currently between 150 and 200 auto insurance carriers writing coverage in Georgia. The same cannot be said of the natural gas market.

    It is also inaccurate to claim that under this bill, insurers can raise rates without justification. The same rate filings would still be required, and the authority of the commissioner to review those filings and request more information and/or hold hearings would still be intact.

    In my opinion, SB 276 is a mixed bag of good and bad that could have been made much more “consumer-friendly” – particularly the UM section. The bill creates new offsets for med pay and workers compensation. You can now opt for stackable UM, but you still won’t get 100 percent of the coverage you paid for.

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