California insurance group battling rates under attack

California Insurance News

Consumer Watchdog has been facing criticisms regarding its latest steps. A consumer group that has backed a recent California insurance initiative and has saved residents of the state from millions of dollars in fees is now facing a new wave of fire from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers and political consultants. Critics have pointed out that Consumer Watchdog has been profiting from the new regulation. Moreover, it has also found that the special California insurance regulation is, essentially, dominated by the advocacy group. The consultants are arguing that the organization…

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AIG unit faces potential fines in California over management of fire claims

American International Group Inc. (AIG) subsidiary, New Hampshire Insurance Co., along with York Risk Services, its claims processing agent, are now facing citations for 125 violations connected with alleged improper handling of California wildfire related claims from 2008. According to California Department of Insurance (CDI) general counsel, Adam M. Cole, “The allegations in this case reflect a troubling lack of attention to consumer needs by New Hampshire Insurance Company.” CDI has stated that each of the various violations for which the insurer has been sited have to do with “an…

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California insurance regulators target GeoVera Insurance, imposing fines and requiring the company to make changes to underwriting

California insurance regulators have taken action against GeoVera Insurance Co., providers of residential earthquake insurance, this week. Regulators took notice of the company after having received a multitude of complaints from policyholders. According to these complaints, the insurer’s underwriting procedures are not as adequate as they are supposed to be. Regulators have investigated the matter and found that the insurer’s practices were indeed falling short of the state’s standards. GeoVera will be facing major changes as regulators look to make the company more compliant with state laws. The insurer will…

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California homeowners to benefit from new insurance regulations

New rules for homeowners insurance have been implemented in California to help to protect people when disaster strikes their homes. The regulations have been implemented to help consumers to make sure that they have the coverage that they need when they have been paying into an insurance policy and the time comes that they need to make a claim following a disaster. According to Amy Bach, the head of United Policyholders, following a large loss, people frequently discover that they don’t have as much coverage as “they thought they had…

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Senator Feinstein announces her support for rate controls in health insurance

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D, San Francisco) has announced that she has placed her support behind a controversial ballot measure that would give state insurance regulators the authority to approve California health coverage rates. As one of the most highly respected politicians in California, the support by Feinstein – who is now the chief spokesperson and head booster of the initiative – this high-stakes move suddenly has a great deal more weight behind it. This initiative is designed to provide effective regulation over increases in health premiums. According to an…

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New task force launched in California to fight against insurance fraud and an underground economy

The California Department of Insurance has announced that it will be joining the Department of Industrial Relations to fight against the state’s emerging underground economy. The two agencies have formed the Labor Enforcement Task Force in order to crack down on the violations against the state’s insurance and labor regulations that are rampant in this offshoot economy. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones notes that this economy is mostly comprised of businesses who hire employees that are not fit for certain types of work. These businesses often fabricate documents concerning their employees…

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Report shows insurance is an economic player in California

A new report has shown that the property and casualty industry for California insurance is responsible for bringing billions of dollars into the state. The report, which was released by the Insurance Information Institute, showed that in 2008, that sector of the insurance industry brought $34.7 billion into the economy. It also showed that insurers are responsible for approximately 2 percent of the total gross state product for California. In fact, in that state, there are more insurance professionals employed than in any other state in the country. In 2009,…

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IBHS gives recommendations to protect from Southern California faces wildfires

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) has released a statement reminding property owners in Southern California that the Santa Ana winds are bringing a serious risk of wildfires with them, and that certain precautions should be taken. The National Weather Service has announced that the region could be affected by another significant shove by the winds, which can gust at more than 60 miles per hour. According to an IBHS senior Scientist, Dr. Steve Quarles, “Santa Ana winds are generally warm and dry, creating tinderbox conditions, but…

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California awarded federal grants to make insurance rate review process more efficient

The state of California has been struggling to rein in one rampant rate increases coming from a number of health insurance companies. High rates are spurred by rising costs in health care and the state has been having trouble coping with the sheer number of rate proposals coming in. Short falls in the rate review process can, sometimes, put consumers at unnecessary financial risk. To help the state establish a more efficient review process, the federal government has awarded California with more than $4.3 million in grants. The California Department…

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New regulations take effect in California, drawing the ire of the state’s insurance companies

New homeowner’s insurance regulations have taken effect in California. According to Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, the new regulations will offer new protections to consumers against being under insured. Part of the aim of the new regulations is to improve upon the state’s standard regarding natural disasters and catastrophic damage to homes. Furthermore, homeowners will no longer be able to purchase “too little” coverage, as the new regulations mandate a minimum level of insurance coverage based upon the property being insured. The regulations have ruffled the feathers of the Association of…

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