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(March 5, 2015) Today, at a public hearing before the Connecticut General Assembly’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra testified in support of House Bill 6866, a bill introduced by State Representative Matthew Ritter that seeks to reduce auto insurance premiums.  Currently, auto insurance rates are largely based on geographic location, credit record, age, gender, marital status, income and education but not necessarily driving history. House Bill 6866 would limit the number of factors to three categories; driving history, length of driving experience and average annual amount of miles driven. Connecticut has some of the highest rates in the country, and urban centers like Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven have the highest premiums in the State. Similar legislation adopted in California in 1988 resulted in substantial financial savings for drivers. Adopting House Bill 6866 could achieve comparable results. 

“Some of our hardworking families in Hartford are unfairly burdened with expensive car insurance payments. It’s time for this to change,” said Mayor Segarra. “Passing this bill would make car insurance more affordable and would bring some financial relief to Hartford residents.”

“I introduced this legislation because it is increasingly unfair and a financial burden for Hartford residents to pay such high premiums on their car insurance policies, for no other reason than they live in Hartford.  I appreciate the Insurance Committee looking into this on behalf of the dozens of residents I have heard from on this issue,” said Rep. Ritter.

Hartford City Councilwoman Cynthia R. Jennings added, “Clearly, households living in poverty must have transportation to take their children to day care, school and to get to work on a daily basis.  Many of the poor would be forced to drive without automobile insurance because they would have to choose between food, clothing, rent or utilities and car insurance. We as elected officials must do whatever we can to make automobile insurance affordable and accessible to every Connecticut resident.”

Members of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters also support House Bill 6866.

“The issue of transportation is a primary obstacle for a huge percentage of inner city applicants in the construction trade. It is often an insurmountable roadblock for a job opportunity that holds the promise of a clear path to economic independence. Any help we can give this population to get into a job is a great thing for the state economy and taxpayers,” said Timothy J. Sullivan, an organizer with the New England Regional Council of Carpenters.

Below is an excerpt from Mayor Segarra’s testimony:

“Higher insurance premiums in Connecticut contribute to the nearly 10% of drivers currently uninsured in the state and increases economic hardship for all residents with a particularly heavy burden being placed on some of the state’s poorest households. Adoption of this bill would also decrease the number of uninsured drivers currently utilizing our roadways, creating a better transportation environment for us all.”

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