I've been hearing dribs and drabs about this for awhile now. The
insurance industry in California has apparently suckered some lawmaker
into carrying a bill aimed at weakening Prop 103's consumer
protections. We have not heard yet which lawmaker will make the insurance industry's consumer attack their own, but we're scanning for the bill that is likely to show up any day now.
Over the past twenty years, California's Prop 103-governed system of insurance regulation has been the nation's most effective at saving consumers money and has created one of the most competitive markets in the nation, according to a 2008 Consumer Federation of America report. Read about that report and get links to it here.
The insurance industry, in their constant quest to be free to gouge California consumers and businesses, has been running a multi-track campaign to weaken Prop 103 in the courts, at the Department of Insurance, and now, according to the rumors, in the legislature. The Personal Insurance Federation of California even solicited some other consumer adovcates to aid them in their effort to undo key consumer price protections. That approach was rebuffed.
One interesting note: the Governor, Insurance Commissioner, and every business in the state are complaining about the possible 25% rate hikes in workers comp insurance this summer. Workers comp insurance was deregulated in 1993 and is one of the few lines of insurance sold in California not subject to Prop 103.