Home California Committee Approves Sen. Dodd’s Auto Liability Insurance Reform Bill

Committee Approves Sen. Dodd’s Auto Liability Insurance Reform Bill

Press Release

by ECT
Senator Bill Dodd

SACRAMENTO – Legislation from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, to improve liability coverage for California motorists, protecting people injured in crashes as well those who might be exposed to paying higher medical and vehicle repair bills, has cleared its first policy committee.

“We must ensure California crash victims get the financial support they need while covering those who might be liable for soaring medical and property damage costs,” said Sen. Dodd. “Because drivers have been underinsured for too long and it is costing them dearly. Thanks to committee members for recognizing the value of my bill, which modernizes our insurance laws, bringing our state in line with what the rest of the country deems the right amount of coverage.”

Fifty-five years ago, California set the current mandatory insurance minimums, requiring drivers to carry $15,000 in coverage for a single injury or death, up to $30,000 per accident and only $5,000 for property damage. Only four states have the same or lower limits. Many drivers are under the false impression that carrying the current minimum would make them whole after a crash. The standard is especially hard on low-income or fixed-income residents who lack a safety net to cover damages.

Sen. Dodd’s legislation, Senate Bill 1107, would update the minimum to $30,000/$60,000/$25,000, bringing it in line with increased costs over the past half-century on everything including vehicle repairs, medical care and emergency services.

The bill is supported by groups representing California consumers and seniors. It passed the Senate Insurance committee Wednesday with overwhelming support.

“It isn’t right that automobile and motorcycle crashes often leave the victim crushed by a mountain of debt, simply because a 55-year old California law allows insurers to offer inadequate products that don’t even come close to covering the victim’s medical costs, loss of income or vehicle repairs,” said Michael Nye, California Alliance for Retired Americans’ legislative committee co-chair. “It’s time to finally modernize this outdated law, and make sure that California drivers – especially retirees and other aging adults – are protected from harm.”

“It’s been more than half a century since California took a hard look at whether or not its insurance laws are adequately protecting drivers,” said Craig Peters, president of Consumer Attorneys of California. “As a result, low-income and even middle-income crash victims are at risk of crippling debt when the cost of recovery is so much steeper than what the negligent drivers’ insurance will cover. The Senate Insurance committee’s support brings California one step close to making sure crash victims won’t have to pay the price for someone else’s negligence on the worst day of their lives.”

Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.

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1 comment

RS201 Apr 22, 2022 - 3:18 am

This is NOT the only auto insurance problem. Another very big elephant in the room is false advertising claims of $XXX reduction in cost as well as unfair insurance reimbursement practices.

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