About California Insurance Law, Health and Auto Insurance Regulations…
California, like all states in the U.S. has its own set of regulations that govern the way insurance works. Apart from federal regulations, insurance companies are required to adhere to those established by the state’s lawmakers. These regulations cover the breadth of the insurance industry in the state and account for every market therein, such as auto, health, and property insurance. Insurers that do not adhere to the state’s regulations run the risk of being confronted with serious consequences that could come in the form of financial loss or the loss of the ability to do business within the state.
Auto insurance in mandatory in California…
and is heavily enforced by the state’s legal system. All drivers in the state have a minimum level of insurance they must carry at all times. According to state law, the minimum liability coverage drivers must have is $15,000 for injury/death to one person, $30,000 for injury/death of more than one person, and $5,000 for damage to property. Beyond this, drivers are expected to take on the full burden of financial responsibility for their vehicles if they choose not to obtain more than minimum liability insurance protection. California does not require drivers carry personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
California has a strictly regulated property insurance industry.
The state regulates various aspects of the industry, from real estate companies to insurers themselves. Many of the regulations governing the industry are designed to mitigate the possibility of malicious activity by realtors and insurance companies. As in most other parts of the country, California homeowners insurance is often required for those looking to finance a home through a financial institution. The state also regulates earthquake insurance policies, though regulators are primarily concerned with a company’s ability to financially withstand a natural disaster and still honor claims. The state does not require citizens to purchase or maintain any kind of property insurance, thus has no regulations concerning minimum levels of coverage.
Health insurance coverage is not mandatory in California,
but will be in 2014 per the Affordable Care Act. A provision of the health care law requires all U.S. citizens to purchase and maintain some kind of health insurance coverage. The state regulates the pricing of policies coming from insurance companies and determines whether proposals to increase rates for these policies is justified or not. There are state-backed plans in place to help those that cannot afford health insurance coverage on their own receive the coverage they need.
In 2010, California became the first state to successfully pass legislation to establish its own health insurance exchange. The California Health Benefit Exchange provides consumers with access to affordable policies that are priced lower than the market norm, thus expanding the accessibility of health insurance in the state.
California Insurance Resources:
California Insurance Department Website: http://www.insurance.ca.gov/
California Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara
California Insurance Licensing Info: http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0200-industry/0020-apply-license/
California Insurance License Renewal: http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0200-industry/0050-renew-license/
File Insurance Complaint: http://www.insurance.ca.gov/contact-us/0200-file-complaint/index.cfm