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Auto insurance companies will get a second shot at asking California voters to allow them to use a motorist's coverage history when setting rates.

Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced today that the proposed auto insurance pricing initiative has qualified for the November 2012 ballot. Proponents had submitted more than 800,000 voter signatures to election officials late last year.

The measure, backed by the American Agents Alliance, is similar to Proposition 17, the failed June 2010 measure bankrolled by Mercury General. Supporters, who say the change would allow companies to extend existing loyalty discounts to new customers who want to switch providers, have updated this version to address concerns about rates for members of the military and the unemployed.

Critics say the change would result in increased rates for motorists who experience a lapse in coverage.

The auto rate initiative is the third measure to qualify for the general election ballot. The two others are an $11 billion water bond, which was placed on the ballot by the Legislature, and a proposal to prohibit using paycheck deductions such as union dues to collect cash for political spending.


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