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An insurance group that backed last year's ballot fight over auto insurance rates wants another shot with voters.

Alliance of Insurance Agents & Brokers Executive Director Mike D'Arelli has submitted to the state attorney general's office a proposed initiative that would allow insurers to consider past coverage history in establishing new rates, arguing that the move would allow companies to extend loyalty discounts to customers switching carriers and lower prices by increase competitiveness in the market.

The measure is similar to the failed June 2010 ballot measure Proposition 17, which was supported by the insurance industry and boosted by $16 million in funding from Mercury Insurance. Opponents argued that the measure would actually result in rate increases for more consumers, allowing companies to hike premiums for motorists who had a lapse in coverage.

Supporters said in a statement that the new version addresses concerns about the impact of the change on members of the military, young drivers and motorists facing financial hardship.

"After listening to the voters, our clients, and even our opposition, we realized that the new initiative needed to be written with greater clarity," D'Arelli said in the statement.

Once a title and summary is drafted by the attorney general's office, proponents will have 150 days to collect and submit the 504,760 valid voter signatures needed to qualify for the next statewide ballot. Read the full text of the initiative here.


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