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December 23, 2005

California Dreaming, on Such a Winter's Day...

Just a few days ago, I posted on a mileage-based car insurance program that recently made its debut in Japan -- and hoped that this could hasten the introduction of a similar system on this side of the Pacific.

Now, the LA Times reports on an announcement by California's insurance commissioner that he's planning to...

"...propose rules forcing auto insurers to set rates based on the driving records and miles driven by motorists, and to give less weight to where drivers live — a change that could affect the pocketbooks of 23 million California drivers.

The proposal was embraced by consumer and civil rights advocates who have long complained that city dwellers — especially in minority neighborhoods — pay higher rates than drivers with similar records who live in rural towns and suburbs."  (Emphasis added.)

Seems like the US didn't have to wait for Japan's lead after all.  Obviously, this is not yet a done deal.  But it's still promising -- both because it could make the automotive insurance system fairer to people who don't drive much (notably women, the poor, and city-dwellers), and because it could give all drivers the opportunity to control their insurance costs by driving less.

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GREAT IDEA...I hope it takes hold and spreads to Washington state! Also, thanks for the story of the Selkiri Caribou!

Posted by: Mr. Natural | Dec 24, 2005 5:56:30 PM

On the basis of the previous story about PAYD a week or so ago, I contacted ICBC here in British Columbia to ask whether or not they had any plans to even investigate such a scheme here. The answer was a disappointing "NO."

I am generally happy with insurance coverage in BC and think that the public insurance corporation is well-managed. However, their response was fairly unequivocal and brief.

Posted by: alehmann | Dec 30, 2005 8:33:26 PM