Opinion: This new law will make it more expensive – and dangerous – to drive in California

April 13, 2022

California elected officials are considering additional taxes on California residents and businesses. Senate Bill 1107 is not a tax as defined by law, but it has a similar effect. This bill will further increase the cost of driving a car in California.

Industry experts estimate that drivers will pay $ 80 to $ 400 more than now. Worse, the negative effects of the legislation will be almost entirely offset by low-income drivers and small businesses in Golden State.

The bill would double the minimum amount of liability coverage that drivers are required to buy and drastically change the mode of action of covering uninsured drivers. These proposed changes to car insurance will hurt all California residents, but especially low-income drivers, at a time when they are already struggling to keep up with the highest inflation rate in 40 years.

Every dollar counts, especially when your budget does not allow for sudden increases. I remember my least prosperous days as a 21-year-old worker. I was paid $ 2 an hour and my car insurance was $ 4 a week.

In line with inflation, my wages were slightly above what the minimum wage workers currently earn. Had my insurance gone up significantly, as the SB 1107 threatens to do, it would have severely affected my cost of living and my limited budget.

Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. The reality is that these changes are completely unnecessary. Drivers are required by California law to have liability coverage. Today, drivers can buy as much liability and uninsured driving coverage as they want to protect other drivers and themselves after a car accident.

SB 1107 will increase the limits for uninsured drivers from $ 15,000 for accidents with a single injury, $ 30,000 for accidents with multiple injuries and $ 5,000 for property damage accidents to $ 30,000, $ 60,000 and $ 25,000, respectively. Insurance premiums will increase significantly, severely affecting the quality of life of many California residents.

The changes will also increase costs for the 1.5 million small businesses in the San Diego area. And this comes at a time when inflation in general and fuel prices in particular are soaring.

We do not have to be insurance experts to understand that if they raise the minimum coverage, more money will be paid in claims and this will require higher premiums. The impact on some people and small businesses can be devastating.

If the SB 1107 becomes law, California will also see an increase in the number of uninsured drivers on the road. Currently, about 16.6% of drivers in California are uninsured. This is almost a third higher than the national average of 12.6%.

For a bill that is supposed to reduce the risk of financial disruption after an accident by making larger payments to victims – and their personal injury lawyers, of course – SB 1107 can actually do just the opposite.

How could our legislators consider such a bill? Do they not remember the long economic recovery from the plague? SB 1107 seems to contradict so much of the other work done by the Legislature.

Rising costs of insurance premiums will force more drivers to leave insurance, as prices are becoming a barrier that so many will not be able to meet. A larger group without insurance will cost California residents millions of dollars, putting those uninsured people at enormous risk of financial ruin.

The Legislature needs to help California residents by voting against Senate 1107. Or at least do a favor for California and raise the question at the polls in November so we can express our opinion.

Raoul Laurie Contrares is a Marine Corps veteran, political consultant and author of the new book White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPS) & Mexicans. His work has appeared in the New American News Service of the New York Times Syndicate.


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