Insurance Industry Pushes Legislation to Increase Homeowners Insurance Rates, Derail Public Protections Against Price Gouging, in Guise of Wildfire Response

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.

State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara Should Stop All Auto Insurance Rate Increases During Pandemic, Says Consumer Watchdog

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.

Read the letter to the Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.

Transamerica Settles Lawsuit Concerning Increases in “Cost of Insurance” Charges

Los Angeles, CA – Transamerica Life Insurance Company has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of policyholders across the United States alleging that Transamerica improperly increased themonthly charges that the company withdrew from the accounts of policyholders who own“TransUltra 115 98/99” or “TransSurvivor 115 97/98/99” “universal life” insurance policies.Transamerica increased the monthly deduction charges on those policies in October 2017 and June 2018, respectively.

Know Your Health Care Rights: 6 Tips for California Consumers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog released a “Know Your Rights” tip sheet today outlining 6 things consumers should know about their health care cost and access rights during the COVID-19 pandemic.

California consumers and patients should know their legal rights as COVID-19 is expected to heavily tax the resources of the health care system and may exceed capacity in some communities, potentially resulting in limitations on access to care, according to the non-profit and non-partisan Consumer Watchdog.   

Commissioner Lara Should Reject Farmers’ Auto Insurance Rate Hikes and Stop Surcharges Aimed At COVID-19 First Responders and Emergency Workers, Says Consumer Watchdog

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.

Insurance Lobbyists Launch Propaganda Campaign to Protect Their Ability To Overcharge Poor & Minority Drivers

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.

Proposed Rule Moves Department of Insurance Closer to Banning Illegal Price Discrimination Against Low-Income Drivers and Communities of Color

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.

633,000 Signatures For Russ Kussman and Steven Olsen

We have now collected more than 633,000 signatures for the Fairness For Injured Patients Act -- which will adjust the 1975 cap on compensation for injured patients.

We expect to finish collecting signatures at the end of March to qualify the ballot initiative for the November California ballot.

I want to share with you two events this weekend that brought home for me the imperative of this effort.