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AAA SoCal Customers To Receive Average 4.1 Percent Rate Reduction

LOS ANGELES ( — Auto Club of Southern California customers will receive an average 4.1 percent rate reduction on policies starting July 1, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced Wednesday.

The company agreed to lower its rates by $70 million, or an average of $35 per policyholder, following discussions with the California Department of Insurance and the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog. The actual change will vary for each customer depending on their unique coverage needs, according to officials.

"California's insurance reform laws were written to ensure that we don't overpay for insurance, and today marks another successful implementation of the quarter century old initiative that voters passed to protect themselves and keep rates down," Consumer Watchdog's Litigation Director Pamela M. Pressley said in a statement.

Multi-policy discounts for homeowners, new group discounts for alumni association members, expanded discounts for medical professionals and certified public accountants and student-away discounts for policyholders with children in school out of town without a car, are all included in the decision, according to the Auto Club.

The decrease comes as a result of a challenge made by the Consumer Watchdog.

"Over the past decade, Consumer Watchdog has challenged more than 75 rate filings by auto, home, earthquake and medical malpractice insurance companies, saving California consumers over $2.6 billion on their insurance premiums," the nonprofit organization said in a statement.

The rate reduction was the fourth approved over the past nine years, according to the Auto Club.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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