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News Release

Consumer Watchdog Posts Judge’s State Farm Proposed Refund Order; Commissioner Must Approve Or Reject

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Harvey Rosenfield & Carmen Balber

Santa Monica, CA – Yesterday, the California Department of Insurance made public a proposed decision by an Administrative Law Judge, issued after an extensive hearing requested by Consumer Watchdog, ordering State Farm to decrease its homeowners insurance rates by 7.0%, and to refund policyholders $85 million for overcharges collected since July 15, 2015. As Consumer Watchdog explained in a news release, “California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones… must decide whether to approve the judge’s decision.”

This morning, the Insurance Commissioner issued a statement claiming that “no such order has been issued by a judge” and demanding that Consumer Watchdog retract its news release.

For clarification, here is the final page of the Judge’s order: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/8-8-16insurancecommissionersnotice.pdf

“Under California’s voter-approved Proposition 103, Administrative Law Judges hold hearings and issue decisions and orders as to whether insurance companies are entitled to rate increases, and the Insurance Commissioner is required to adopt, modify or reject those decisions,” said Harvey Rosenfield, author of Proposition 103. "State Farm policyholders deserve refunds for the $85 million that the company overcharged ratepayers, as well as the rate decrease that will save them nearly $156 million per year in the future."

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