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.
Where the troubling trail of accusations dogging Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara will lead is hard to tell. State records show that insurance industry executives and their relatives gave tens of thousands of dollars to Lara’s campaign committee–even as he intervened on their behalf in cases before his agency.
We’ll know more on Aug. 31. That’s when Lara has promised to make public his communications and calendars of meetings with the executives.
Los Angeles, CA– In a letter sent today, Consumer Watchdog called on Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara to use the full authority of his office to preserve Californians’ access to home insurance.
Los Angeles, CA -- Mercury Insurance Company will pay at least $27.6 million in civil penalties for overcharging hundreds of thousands of California motorists in violation of insurance reform Proposition 103. Late yesterday, the California Supreme Court rejected the company’s last-ditch effort to evade the fine – the largest ever against a car insurance company in California.
Sacramento, CA – A wildfire insurance bill sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara stalled in the state Assembly today in the face of objections raised by the Department of Finance and Consumer Watchdog that the bill would expose taxpayers to unnecessary financial risks.
Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said legislation sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and scheduled for a vote Wednesday would needlessly expose California taxpayers to the same kind of complex and risky financial instruments that led to the 2008 financial crisis.
The bill would allow the state to purchase insurance and other financial products with none of the usual state oversight, including insurance regulation by Commissioner Lara’s own Department of Insurance and procurement rules at the Department of General Services.
Los Angeles, CA – Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s office will delay disclosure of the Commissioner’s calendar or records of his meetings with insurance companies to August 31st, according to a communication sent to Consumer Watchdog.
Commissioner Lara said that he would disclose his calendars in response to revelations that he took $54,300 in campaign contributions from insurance executives and their spouses, took actions that benefited the insurance company connected to three of those donors, and met with the company’s CEO.