San Francisco, CA (WiredPRNews.com) Riverside County on Tuesday joined a growing number of cities and municipalities that have approved the implementation of emergency-response fees for drivers who get into accidents within their borders.
The fees, which usually receive vehement opposition from car insurance companies, have typically been instituted in order to plug gaping budget holes that are the result of anemic tax revenues.
The vice president of the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC) has publicly said that Riverside County is using the fee plan “as an opportunity to increase revenues without formally raising taxes.”
ACIC vice president Armand Feliciano cautioned that these cost-recovery measures generally do not meet projected revenue levels and “can be a deterrent for tourists and businesses.”
Feliciano also said that, if California auto insurance providers start to routinely cover the emergency-response fees, it could lead to higher premiums for consumers.
With the approval vote given on Tuesday, the county fire department will be able to levy fees to recoup the cost of responding to “negligent incidents, such as drunk driving, driving while under the influence of drugs, reckless driving, vehicle pursuits and any other negligent vehicle act resulting in an emergency response by the Riverside County Fire Department.” False alarms will also be included as fair game for cost recovery.
Rather than set flat fees for the cost of the response, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors has voted to use the established hourly reimbursement rates used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to base the size of the fees.
The most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that there were more than 2 million people living in Riverside County in July 2009.
To learn more about this and other car insurance issues, readers can go to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/companies/ where visitors will have access to informative resource pages as well as a rate-comparison generator that can get drivers in any state quoted quickly for a policy.