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Insurance

Insurance

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.

 

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Consumer Watchdog’s Prop 103 Challenges Bring $227 Million in Insurance Rate Savings

SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog’s challenges filed under Proposition 103 to proposed auto, home and business insurance rate increases saved consumers $227.4 million in 2017, the nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group said today.

Since 2003, the group’s challenges in rate proceedings before the Department of Insurance have saved consumers a total of $3.4 billion. Savings have averaged a little more than a quarter of a billion dollars – $227 million – per year.

Wildfires Should Ignite Crackdown on State Farm To Be Better Neighbor

The wildfires devastating Bel Air, Ventura and Southern California's canyons are destroying homes in their path. Unfortunately, many of those homeowners are going to find that when they try to rebuild their homeowners' policies may not cover the real costs.

It's a sad cycle that happens after too many wildfires, include the historic devastation fires wrought recently in Sonoma and Napa Valley. 

California Regulators Require Auto Insurers To Adjust Rates

This story was co-published with Consumer Reports.

California regulators said they have required Nationwide and USAA to adjust their auto insurance rates as a result of a report by ProPublica and Consumer Reports that many minority neighborhoods were paying more than white areas with the same risk.

California Dept. of Insurance Says It Has Stopped Overcharges Exposed by ProPublica

Santa Monica, CA -- Acting in response to an investigative report by journalists at ProPublica, the California Department of Insurance has ordered two insurance companies – Nationwide and USAA – to not charge motorists in minority neighborhoods more than motorists with similar risk profiles who live in predominantly white neighborhoods. California voters banned zip code-based insurance pricing when they passed Proposition 103 to prevent auto insurers from discriminating against minority drivers.

Farmers Insurance Asks Court To Block State Review Of Auto Rates And A Possible Refund Order

Farmers Insurance has asked a court to block a state review of its auto insurance rates dating to 2008, making it the latest case to test the limits of California’s landmark insurance law, Proposition 103.

The Woodland Hills firm, a unit of Swiss multinational Zurich Insurance Group, argued in a lawsuit last week that a plan by the Department of Insurance to review the rates — which are being challenged by a group of consumers in a separate case — is “unlawful under applicable law and current facts” and should be called off.

Consumer Watchdog Petitions Commissioner to Stop Travelers from Overcharging Small Business Owners

Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog has filed a petition challenging the insurance rates that two companies in the Travelers Group want to charge small businesses. The consumer group is seeking a 20% cut to the rates Travelers currently charges, which would deliver about $20 million in savings to policyholders.

Travelers’ rate proposal would affect nearly 16,000 businesses in the companies’ Master Pac program that provides liability and property coverage for small businesses such as barber shops, pet sitters, employment agencies, speech therapists, and car washes.