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Rosenfield on Proposition 103

In his column (“Rather Than Fighting 103, Insurers Should Seize the Chance It Gives Them,” Op-Ed Page, April 4), Proposition 103 author Harvey Rosenfield took the insurance industry to task for failing to “cooperate” in implementing Prop. 103. He implied that the insurance industry is flouting the law.

Obviously, it is difficult for Rosenfield to understand why the insurance companies must challenge Prop. 103 in the courts. We know that many people join Rosenfield in feeling frustrated due to the court challenge. The vote on Nov. 8 reflected deep consumer dissatisfaction with the insurance system and, believe me, insurance companies have heard the message. We will not be satisfied until our customers are satisfied--insurance must be made available at less cost and it must be perceived as fair to all consumers.

But the Supreme Court challenge was necessary. The effect of Prop. 103 on insurance companies is the same as the effect on your readers if their income were reduced to 20% below what it was in 1987, without any reduction in the cost of groceries, rent, medical care, car repairs and every other thing they must buy.

Insurance premiums can be lowered only when the cost of providing the insurance is reduced. We want to accomplish this and we are working with consumer groups, legislators and other interested parties to come up with acceptable solutions to the rising cost of medical care, car repairs and lawsuits.

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While we and our customers await the Supreme Court’s ruling, most of Prop. 103 is in effect. Insurance companies and agents are complying with the poorly drafted law as best they can.

But whatever the disagreements are, when the courts or the insurance commissioner make a final determination on whether and to what extent the provisions of Prop. 103 are valid, the public can count on the insurance industry to comply with the ruling.

We are not insensitive to the desires of the voting public. The court challenge to Prop. 103 was undertaken in an attempt to ensure that the desire of some to punish insurance companies does not allow them to destroy those companies or their ability to serve their customers in California.

THOMAS F. CONNEELY

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President

Assn. of Calif. Insurance Cos.

Sacramento


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