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In the News

No need to rewrite car-insurance law

Published: Monday, June 24, 2013
The complete editorial can be found here: Winston-Salem Journal

There’s an old saying at the legislature: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

That wisdom is lost on the legislators who keep pushing a rewrite of state insur-ance law. They’re being prodded by a coalition of insurance companies that want less regulation of the state’s auto-insurance market. Our free-enterprise General Assembly is sympathetic to arguments about reducing the costs of state government and getting government out of the way of business. So the efforts by the insurance companies got a fair hearing earlier this session.

And the hearing ended up with the bill being thrown out by a Senate committee and replaced by a non-controversial compromise that the upper chamber approved unan-imously. Now the insurance companies are trying to amend the Senate bill, in the House, in ways that make it worse than their original bill.

The insurance companies are selling their idea on the grounds that they’d offer more consumer discounts under this legislation. That sounds good until consumers see what they’d lose in the process. Under the proposal, the insurance companies would be largely freed of the current regulatory process that sets our insurance rates.

Not all insurance companies favor the bill. Nationwide is fighting it tooth and nail. Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin is, too. Goodwin recently told the News & Observer that the current effort would allow insurance companies to raise rates as often, and as much, as they want.

For those of us who buy auto insurance, the fighting among the insurance companies and within the legislature can amount to a lot of peripheral drama. We just want to know how we’re going to get the best insurance at the best price.

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