Western Agents Oppose California’s Mileage Verification Proposal

July 13, 2006

The Western Insurance Agents Association has issued a statement, opposing the California Department of Insurance’s revised proposed auto mileage verification regulation. The statement reads:

“The proposed regulation is unnecessary, it restricts the means by which carriers ascertain the annual mileage driven, and it authorizes insurers to require applicants and policyholders to reveal the current odometer readings of the vehicle(s) to be insured. WIAA remains opposed because some insurers are likely to require producers to obtain odometer readings.

To support the annual mileage figure provided by the applicant, the proposed regulation permits insurers to gather only specified “reasonable information” — location of work, school or other destination if the vehicle is used for commuting purposes and the number of miles and days per week the vehicle is used for commuting; estimated mileage for pleasure or other uses; approximate mileage driven the previous 24 months; reason(s) for any differences between estimates given for the upcoming 12 months and the mileage driven the previous 12 months; and approximate date the vehicle was acquired, in addition to the current odometer reading.”

“While the proposed regulation merely authorizes carriers to gather ‘reasonable information,’ including odometer readings, it’s naive to think that some insurers wouldn’t require their agents to obtain such readings from applicants and policyholders,” said Mike D’Arelli, WIAA vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs.

“Existing statutes and regulations provide insurers flexibility to verify and estimate mileage accurately, and charge the appropriate rate based upon the miles a person has actually driven. We believe this flexibility is essential,” D’Arelli said.

Until Dec. 31, 2002, the Western Insurance Agents Association was an affiliate of PIA in California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico and operated as the PIA Group. WIAA no longer has any affiliation with the PIA. The association has been in business since 1947 and represents more than 900 insurance agencies in California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

Source: WIAA

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