At Nationwide, our members come first. That is why last week we wrote about legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly that could raise the cost of your auto insurance and strip away consumer protections. . . .
Bill threatens N.C.’s low automobile insurance rates
Currently, North Carolina drivers enjoy the lowest car insurance rates in the Southeast and the 7th lowest in the nation.
As introduced, Senate Bill 154 and House Bill 265 could change these favorable statistics by allowing insurance companies to hike rates by at least 12% a year. The bills also gut the authority of your elected Commissioner of Insurance by eliminating the requirement that companies receive approval from the Commissioner before raising their rates.
Fight to keep rates in check
We don’t believe North Carolinians want higher auto insurance rates, less independent oversight, more uninsured drivers on the road, or a more volatile insurance market. But that’s what would almost certainly happen if these bills become law.
We want to let you know that Nationwide is working on behalf of our members to encourage your legislators not to dismantle North Carolina’s auto insurance system that results in low rates. . . .
How wonderful, Nationwide looking out for us! But wait, nobody’s forcing them to raise rates. If their members really come first, why not just not raise their rates?
This is a classic case of Bootleggers and Baptists. The name refers to the fact that during the Prohibition era, bootleggers co-opted the moralizing rhetoric of the Baptists to support Prohibition. Prohibition gave them a quite profitable monopoly on the sale of liquor – but nobody goes to a bootlegger to get legal substances.
Likewise for Nationwide, the great thing about having an insurance commissioner isn’t that he protects consumers; it’s that he prevents upstarts from disrupting their business model. Yes, the regulations are sometimes inconvenient, but they’re a lot more inconvenient for new and small insurers than for large and established ones. And best of all – you can cloak all this cronyism and favoritism in the language of consumer protection!
The fact that Nationwide is shamelessly soliciting political action from long-past customers says to me that they don’t think they can withstand new competition. I’d keep that in mind when choosing an insurance company.