Sacramento, CA – Insurance companies’ illegal use of job and education level to price auto insurance discriminates against lower income drivers and communities of color and must end, Consumer Watchdog will testify at a California Department of Insurance workshop this afternoon.
Los Angeles, CA -- In a decision that will likely affect California motorists, homeowners, small businesses and even medical providers, the California Supreme Court has ruled that insurance companies are not immune from lawsuits by consumers who were overcharged for title insurance coverage as part of a home refinance or sale.
Sacramento, CA -- Draft regulations released by the Department of Insurance Thursday move California one step closer to stopping auto insurance discrimination that has allowed insurers to overcharge lower income and minority drivers for decades, said Consumer Watchdog. The rules follow a petition submitted by Consumer Watchdog and ten civil rights and community groups to ban the use of job and education level in auto insurance rating.
Los Angeles, CA -- The insurance industry is exploiting California wildfires for its own financial advantage by arbitrarily refusing to sell or renew homeowners’ insurance coverage, even when people improve the fire safety of their property, Consumer Watchdog testified today at a virtual hearing convened by California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.
By Jeff McDonald, SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE
August 21, 2020
California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and the Los Angeles advocacy group Consumer Watchdog issued separate statements Friday announcing they no longer opposed a wildfire-insurance bill.
By Kathleen Pender, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
August 8, 2020
Nearing the end of their legislative session and the beginning of wildfire season, state lawmakers are pushing through an industry-backed homeowners' insurance bill despite fierce opposition from consumer groups and California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.
Los Angeles, CA -- A proposed overall 3.8% rate hike on drivers insured under California’s Low Cost Auto Insurance Program has been withdrawn after Consumer Watchdog submitted comments urging the proposal be rejected or deferred.
By Michael Finney, KGO AM SF, CA
July 18, 2020
Host Michael Finney mediates a debate between Consumer Watchdog's Harvey Rosenfield and Rex Frazier of the Personal Insurance Federation of California about the details of bill AB 2167 to change the homeowners' insurance market in the state of California.
By Lyle Adriano, INSURANCE BUSINESS AMERICA
July 8, 2020
Consumer Watchdog has warned that members of the California State Senate have taken $2,353,000 in campaign contributions from both insurance companies and insurance industry trade associations in the last two election cycles.
Sacramento, CA – Members of the California State Senate have taken $2,353,000 in campaign contributions from insurance companies and insurance industry trade associations in the last two election cycles, according to data reported to the California Secretary of State. Of that total, $1.1 million was given to the thirteen Senators who sit on the Insurance Committee that will soon vote on the insurance industry’s top priority in Sacramento this year.
Los Angeles, CA – Consumer Watchdog warned today that homeowners could pay billions more for their home insurance under a sneak insurance industry legislative attack on California’s effective rate regulation under the cover of the corona virus and police abuse crises.
Sacramento, CA – The Assembly Insurance Committee voted today to allow insurance companies to raise rates on homeowners and renters in violation of voter-approved Proposition 103. The bills would force unjustified insurance rate hikes onhomeowners in the very communities devastated by wildfires that they purport to help, said Consumer Watchdog.
Los Angeles, CA — While the rest of the state is sheltering at home, lobbyists for the insurance industry are busy promoting legislation, scheduled for a hearing tomorrow, that would allow them to boost insurance rates on homeowners and renters.
Los Angeles, CA – Consumer Watchdog today called on Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara to suspend all increases in auto insurance rates through September 1, or the termination of shelter-in-place restrictions, whichever comes later.
By Randy Mac, KNBC TV-4 Los Angeles, CA
April 7, 2020
On Monday Allstate insurance announced it’s issuing partial refunds to its car insurance customers due to “stay at home” orders. But consumer advocates say the entire industry needs to step up.
The once clogged freeways in the LA region are mostly empty.
Los Angeles, CA – Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara should reject Farmers Insurance Group’s proposed 6.5–6.9% auto insurance rate increases and its 3-tiered rating system based on occupation under which first responders and essential workers on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19 pay higher rates, wrote Consumer Watchdog in a letter to the Commissioner today. Farmers’ request comes as a deadly pandemic sweeps California, for which virtually every California business has been ordered to close and residents ordered to stay home.
Sacramento, CA -- The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) has launched a deceptive website, at www.protectourdiscounts.org, and advertising campaign to protect insurers’ ability to continue overcharging lower income and minority drivers for their auto insurance.
In comments submitted on proposed regulations Consumer Watchdog said rule could ban discrimination based on drivers’ occupation and education level; called for key amendments to ensure discrimination based on race and socioeconomic status ends.
Consumer Watchdog’s Challenge Using Prop 103’s Consumer Participation Process Leads To An Overall 3.1% Rate Decrease
By Don Thompson, ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 24, 2019
SACRAMENTO — California is proposing to restrict auto insurance practices that regulators say benefit those who have more money, more education and are white.
Investigation found some programs discriminated against low-income people
By Leslie Scism, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
December 23, 2019
Los Angeles, CA -- An analysis of new data obtained from insurance companies by the California Department of Insurance (“CDI”) confirms complaints by Consumer Watchdog and other citizen groups that insurance companies are surcharging motorists based on their occupation or educational status, in violation of insurance reform Proposition 103.
Los Angeles, CA -- Farmers Insurance systematically overcharged its most loyal, longtime California customers from 2008 to 2018, according to evidence uncovered as part of an investigation ordered by the California Insurance Commissioner. Now, with a public hearing scheduled for June and facing millions of dollars in civil damages and penalties, Farmers and its affiliate, Mid-Century Insurance, are urging a Los Angeles Superior Court to stop the agency’s investigation.
Los Angeles, CA -- A state Court of Appeal in Orange County has upheld $27 million in civil penalties imposed by former Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones against Mercury Insurance Company for falsely claiming premium overcharges its agents tacked on top of its approved rates were “broker fees.”
Los Angeles, CA – Community organizations representing consumers, low-income workers and communities of color petitioned Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today to ban the use of occupation and education to set auto insurance premiums. Many California auto insurance companies charge lower-income and less-educated drivers up to 15% more in order to give discounts to doctors, lawyers, other well-paying professions, and drivers with college degrees. The surcharge is illegal under California’s insurance reform law, Proposition 103.
The nonprofit Consumer Federation of America released a study this week finding that California’s tough “prior approval” regulation of auto insurance rates under Proposition 103 is a model for the nation. Nearly 30 years of insurance industry data show that California has maintained the slowest pace of premium growth of any state and built the second most competitive auto insurance market in the nation.
A California court has rejected a request by State Farm, the nation’s largest insurance company, to conceal the financial arrangements between its $168 billion parent company, based in Bloomington, Indiana, and its California subsidiary, which sells homeowners insurance and claims it’s in financial trouble.
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.
Given the divide in America, it’s truly been remarkable how much we have accomplished together in 2018. Below's just some of what we accomplished in 2018, and you can also watch this short highlights video about our victories.
The nation’s toughest online privacy law: A new California law requires that companies tell you what information they collect about you, give you the right to say no, and are legally accountable for data breaches.
Los Angeles, CA– Today the Consumer Federation of America reports that Proposition 103, the insurance reform law passed by California voters on November 8, 1988, has saved drivers $154 billion on their auto insurance.
SANTA MONICA, CA - The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected a challenge brought by Mercury Insurance, State Farm and other insurance companies across the United States to insurance reform Proposition 103. That California law has saved motorists over $100 billion since 1988 by regulating insurance companies to limit price gouging, profiteering, inflated executive salaries and other unjustified expenses. (Mercury Casualty Company v.
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.
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.
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.