Blog Post
By Laura Antonini
California drivers: have you heard of the Low Cost Automobile Insurance Program? If you have a minimum liability auto insurance policy (15/30/15) and this doesn’t sound familiar, then your insurance agent or broker may have violated the law. California's Low Cost Auto Insurance Program gives low-income motorists with good...
News Release
CONTACT Douglas Heller
Santa Monica, CA – Starting next month, GEICO will begin implementing a 10.7% overall rate decrease for its California automobile insurance policyholders.  GEICO originally asked the California Department of Insurance (CDI) for a 4% increase to its automobile insurance rates, but the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog challenged the hike....
Blog Post
By Jamie Court
The much-awaited California Senate Health Committee showdown today over health insurance premium regulation never happened. Instead, Senate Health Committee Chair Ed Hernandez, who had the pivotal vote, moved Assembly Bill 52 forward with the promise that his vote on the Senate Floor was contingent on amendments to come that address his concerns...
News Release
CONTACT Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA -- More than 1,500,000 Californians will face health insurance premium increases on July 1 averaging 3% to 17.4%, according to state filings. Some patients with Aetna small business plans will see premium increases as high as 92.5%. California insurance regulators need the power to protect consumers and deny such steep rate...
News Release
CONTACT Doug Heller
Santa Monica, CA – Insurance giant Wellpoint, parent company of California's Anthem Blue Cross, announced today that its first quarter profits rose 6% this year to nearly $1 billion for the first three months of 2011. At the same time, consumer advocates are pressing for reforms that would limit health insurance rate increases in the...
News Release
CONTACT Doug Heller
Santa Monica, CA -- Consumer Watchdog, in a letter to Governor Jerry Brown, warned that in less than a month more than 150,000 Californians will face a major Anthem Blue Cross rate hike and increased deductibles, despite a flurry of reports last month that there would be a reprieve.  The 150,000 Californians scheduled to receive a May 1...
Legal Update
Jerry Flanagan
Today Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik takes a hard look at a proposed settlement in a lawsuit against Farmers Insurance opposed by Consumer Watchdog.  According to Hiltzik, under the settlement, Farmers would likely keep the lion's share of a $455 million settlement fund intended for consumers while lawyers for the plaintiff...
Legal Update
By Consumer Watchdog
Over the objections of the insurance companies and attorneys for the plaintiffs, Superior Court Judge William F. Highberger granted a Farmers customer’s request to intervene in Fogel v. Farmers Group, Inc. and postponed the preliminary class action settlement approval hearing until March 2, 2011. Consumer Watchdog's lawyers, who...
News Release
CONTACT Doug Heller + Jamie Court
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer advocates are calling Blue Shield's 59% premium hike Exhibit A for legislation that would allow the Insurance Commissioner to curb health insurers' rate hikes.  California Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-LA) has introduced AB 52, which would require health insurers to receive approval from the state before...
Blog Post
By Doug Heller
After a $5 million campaign by insurance companies to defeat him, Dave Jones has been sworn in as California's fourth elected Insurance Commissioner.  I was at the inauguration in Sacramento and these are my notes... Interestingly, if not surprisingly, the insurance industry that spent all that money attacking Jones is here in full...