Sacramento – Participants at a March 11 hearing of the Assembly Insurance Committee testified that a current proposal by the Department of Insurance could potentially eliminate auto and home insurance discounts for millions of California policyholders. The hearing was convened by the committee’s chair, Assemblymember Tom Daly (D – Anaheim).
“The regulations that DOI is in the process of developing would likely curtail discounts offered in the future, not to mention negatively impacting the ability of current group policyholders to keep the discounts,” said Assemblymember Daly.
Policyholder groups and insurers say that despite clear language in state law (Proposition 103) that policyholders are entitled to group plans “without restriction” as to the type of group. The DOI proposal bans hundreds of groups that provide insurance to millions of policyholders. In addition, even groups that qualify under the DOI’s restrictive definition face complications, such as public disclosure of private contracts, which threaten the continued existence of these group insurance plans.
“The Department of Insurance has data that identifies underserved communities with respect to group auto insurance discounts,” said Edwin Lombard, president of the California Black Chamber of Commerce. “The solution is outreach, education, and empowerment, not a heavy-handed regulation that takes away discount benefits.”
Personal insurance Federation of California President Rex Frazier said that “Millions of Californians currently benefit from group discount programs. Let’s keep the current discounts and work together on expanding discount programs even further.”
Speakers at the hearing included Michael Martinez and Bryant Henley from the Department of Insurance, plus representatives from the Personal insurance Federation of California, California Casualty Insurance, California Teachers Association, and Black Chamber of Commerce.
Assemblymember Tom Daly represents California’s 69th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Orange and Santa Ana.