Sunday, March 9, 2008

Vic Jones is Going to Love This

We can rely Georgia Republicans to take care of big insurance companies who pour dollars into their campaign accounts. The rest of us are just out of luck. According to an op-ed in today's Telegraph, on Thursday, thanks to Rep. Tom Knox and a quick legislative slight of hand, both chambers of the Georgia General Assembly passed a bill including a provision that makes it unnecessary for insurance companies to get approval from the Insurance Commissioner before passing certain rate increases on to consumers. Here's a portion of Charles Richardson's piece:


So what did the industry buy? The Judiciary Committee added language in Section 4 that will change the way insurance companies raise rates in Georgia. For all the other legal mumbo-jumbo, it comes down to a single sentence: "For all such private passenger motor vehicle insurance (rates) shall be effective upon filing and shall be implemented without approval of the Commissioner."Though insurance companies still have to go through the filing process with the insurance commissioner's office, policy holders will get a bill and be expected to pay it before the commissioner signs off on the increase. There is a smoke and mirrors caveat. Proponents of this sleight-of-hand point to the provision that requires companies to seek the insurance commissioner approval before raising rates on policies that carry mandated minimum coverages. According to Oxendine, 90 percent of policy holders carry insurance above the minimum.

Good to know you're looking out for us, there, Tom. Actually, it looks like Tom is serving those who have contributed rather richly to his campaign. A check of just his December, 2007 disclosure shows a rather tidy sum from insurance companies and their lobbyists. By the way, I noted on the disclosure that in that reporting period, Rep. Knox did not have a single contribution from an individual donor-all special interest pacs and businesses.

If any question remains about whether the insurance industry had a "special" investment in this piece of legislation, all you have to do is check the website of one of Rep. Knox's contributors, American Insurance Association. The headline, Georgia General Assembly Passes Key Auto Reform Measure is at the top of their "news releases."

On another note, when is Civil Justice PAC (trial lawyers) going to stop feeding the hand that bites it?

2 comments:

Tina said...

Looks like the pSC and the insurance companies are in each other's pockets.
I guess the legislature is trying to do all it can before a Democratic majority is restored. :-)

kreedham said...

Link to contact Gov Sonny on this:

http://gov.georgia.gov/00/gov/contact_us/0,2657,78006749_94820188,00.html