For 30 years, Consumer Watchdog has been the nation's leading insurance reform organization. We have saved consumers billions of dollars, developed innovative consumer programs and reversed some of the most anti-consumer insurance policies in the industry.
In 1988, Californians revolted against excessive auto, homeowner and business insurance premiums and passed Proposition 103, a ballot measure written by Consumer Watchdog founder Harvey Rosenfield to rein in insurance companies. Using the provisions of Prop 103, Consumer Watchdog has challenged rate hikes and lowered insurance rates by billions of dollars. The insurance reform has saved Californians over $100 billion over the last thirty years according to the Consumer Federation of America. California is the only state where auto insurance rates have gone down in real dollars over the last three decades. It's also the only state to ban ZIP-code based auto insurance, which Proposition 103 also did.
Today, Consumer Watchdog's legal team and advocates scrutinize all major rate hike proposals made by auto and home insurers in California and play an integral role in many of the regulatory actions enacted by the California Department of Insurance.
We use our experience to show how regulation can work to save consumers and spur competition, as California has the most robust auto insurance market in America.
Los Angeles, CA -- The non-profit, non-partisan Consumer Watchdog gave California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara until July 31 to produce public records related to his meetings with insurance industry representatives who gave him $54,300 in campaign contributions in a letter sent late last week.
Los Angeles, CA – California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, who has approved $292 million in auto and homeowners’ insurance rate increases since being elected, has received a “D” average from the nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog on his first four-month report card.
Carmen Balber, Executive Director of Consumer Watchdog, says new nonbinary gender identity choice on California drivers licenses will have unintended consequences in preventing gender discrimination in auto insurance rates.
Los Angeles, CA – California auto insurers may no longer charge drivers more based on their gender under new rules just issued by the California Department of Insurance.
The rules bring auto insurance prices into line with the provisions of voter-approved Proposition 103 that prohibit unfair and discriminatory pricing and require rates to be based primarily on a person’s driving record and experience, not personal characteristics.
Los Angeles, CA — As a UN panel finds the world is losing the war with global warming and urgent action is needed, US insurance companies have reported holding more than $50.9 billion in fossil fuel investments that exacerbate climate change, according to reporting to national insurance regulators.
Consumer Watchdog’s review of public filings reveals nine of the 10 largest American insurance companies have considered the impact of climate change on their investments, but only two, AIG and Farmers, say that they have altered their investment strategy in response.
Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s decision to return over $54,000 in contributions from donors tied to a company seeking the Commissioner’s approval for an acquisition was an “important first step that protects the credibility of the elected position you hold.” The non-profit advocacy organization urged the Commissioner to return the money in a letter yesterday.
Los Angeles, CA —On Earth Day, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara chose “collaboration" with the insurance industry over urgent climate action. Commissioner Lara rejected a petition from 60 environmental, consumer and social justice groups that sought emergency rules to make insurers disclose the fossil fuel projects they insure. The Commissioner's refusal to act allows insurers to keep their complicity in global warming secret and puts the brakes on the forward momentum on climate built by the previous Department of Insurance, said Consumer Watchdog.
Consumer Watchdog says insurance companies charging people more for their car insurance based on their profession and level of education is an unfair and discriminatory practice. "We should be charged, in California, based on how we drive, on how long we've driven, how safe we are as a driver not based on whether we are a waitress or a doctor," says Consumer Watchdog President Jaime Court.
Statement of Consumer Watchdog: “Thirty days ago, Consumer Watchdog and ten other organizations petitioned Insurance Commissioner Riccardo Lara to stop insurance companies’ discrimination against low-income drivers and communities of color based on their education or occupation.