Archive for May, 2007

No flowers from good-time Tony

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

I’d feel better about North Carolina state senator Tony Rand if he at least brought me flowers and treated me to dinner before — uh, showing me a good time.

Hopefully, I don’t have to explain what I mean by “showing me a good time.” This is a family Web site.

Rand, the Democrat majority leader, is pushing legislation that would almost surely change the consumer-friendly status North Carolina enjoys when it comes to car insurance rates. As you might suspect, it wouldn’t be a good change — unless you’re an insurance company executive. In that case, you’d love it, all the way to the bank.

Rand wants for the state Insurance Commissioner to be stripped of his power to set auto insurance rates. Under state law, the commissioner decides the maximum rates that will be allowed if insurance companies and insurance department staffers can’t negotiate a reasonable compromise. It will come as no surprise to learn that insurance companies hardly ever like the terms they’re offered. They also hardly ever like the commissioner’s eventual decisions.

Ninety-nine percent of state’s remaining population thinks the system is just peachy. Why shouldn’t we? We’ve got some of the lowest car insurance rates in the nation, because the commissioner tends to keep a tight lid on increases.

I notice that Rand apparently hasn’t even tried to explain how this change could be good for consumers. There’s no rationale offered in any of the news reports I’ve read, nor could I find a press release from his office extolling the glories of this bit of corporation-friendly legislation.

I can’t say that surprises me, though. If ever there was a proposed law designed to good-time the consumer, this is it.