California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones requests reduced rates from “forced-placed” mortgage insurance companies

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has spoken with the 10 biggest insurers providing “lender-placed coverage” California insurance, in order to address a number of concerns that have been brought to his attention regarding excessive rates. Within that communication, Commissioner Jones directed that a California Department of Insurance (CDI) rate filing be made in order to lower their rates. The insurance commissioner too this step at a time when reports have been made quite heavily regarding sketchy financial integration between insurance companies that offer “forced-placed” mortgage insurance, and the mortgage lenders themselves.…

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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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Mercury Insurance to raise rates in California, agitating consumer advocates

Mercury Insurance is looking to raise rates on homeowners and renters insurance policies in California. The company has plans to raise rates by an average of 8.8% for some 300,000 consumers in the state. If state regulators approve the proposal, the company will be generating an additional $19 million per year in profits. Consumer Watchdog, a non-profit organization concerned with fairness for insurance consumers, claims that the proposal is unreasonable because the insurer is already awash with profit. According to Consumer Watchdog, the company paid less than 50 cents on…

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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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What consumers should know about buying earthquake insurance

The number of earthquakes in states that are not known for tremors – such as the recent 5.6 point quake in Oklahoma and the earthquakes in Colorado and Virginia this summer – have underlined the fact that flooding, severe weather, and fires are not the only types of natural disaster that can cause damage to a home, no matter where you live. Though California is the state that is at the highest risk of earthquakes, and it is also long overdue for another major tremor, states that consider quakes to…

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Most California homeowners lack earthquake coverage

Data from the Insurance Information Network of California has shown that less than 12 percent of homeowners within the state were protected by earthquake insurance in 2010, and that less than 10 percent of businesses had this protection. According to the California Earthquake Authority’s CEO, Glenn Pomeroy, the standard insurance coverage for homes and businesses will not provide protection against the damage resulting from a tremor. This organization is nonprofit and works to offer homeowners in California affordable earthquake insurance products. Pomeroy also stated that among homeowners without any form…

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Disaster recovery cost reduction efforts receive applause from California Earthquake Authority

U.S. Rep. John Campbell (R-48), from California, has received praise from the California Earthquake Authority, for his introduction of H.R. 3125, which was legislation to pair with S. 637, that was introduced by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, earlier in 2011.  Together, the two bills will work to bolster the system for natural disaster recovery in the United States, by setting the Earthquake Insurance Affordability Act (EIAA) into effect.  CEO Glen Pomeroy from the California Earthquake Authority, has announced his gratitude to Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Campbell for the bipartisan efforts…

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