By Grace Gedye, CAL MATTERS
May 26, 2022
New rules proposed by California’s Department of Insurance would require insurers to take homeowners’ efforts to reduce wildfire risk into account when setting premiums. But they would still allow non-renewals.
By David Jerome, IDYLWILD TOWN CRIER
May 25, 2022
The California Department of Insurance (CDI) is rolling out new regulations mandating that insurers in the state offer discounts to policyholders who undertake fire hazard mitigation and structure "hardening." The rules are intended to make decisions about rate and risk more transparent and more tuned to the specific risk of an individual property, as opposed to just the zone it is in.
California needs an insurance commissioner with ethics. This candidate could restore trust
EDITORIAL BY THE SACRAMENTO BEE EDITORIAL BOARD
May 8, 2022
California needs consumer protection, not partying, dining and cozying up with industry lobbyists and executives
By The MERCURY NEWS and EAST BAY TIMES Editorial Boards
April 28, 2022
California needs a new insurance commissioner - one that voters can feel confident represents their interests.
By The LOS ANGELES TIMES Editorial Board
April 28, 2022
Ricardo Lara’s first year as California insurance commissioner — the elected office charged with regulating the state’s $310-billion insurance industry — was an ethical disaster.
By Timothy Darragh, BestWire
April 22, 2022
A bill requiring greater disclosure between California Department of Insurance personnel and insurance companies and other measures failed to get out of a state House committee, virtually dooming them for this legislative session.
The California House Insurance Committee held AB 2323 without a recommendation.
Sacramento, CA – Ethics legislation to shine a light on insurance industry influence over decision-making at the Department of Insurance was killed by the Assembly Insurance Committee today when members refused to give the bill a vote.
AB 2323 (Levine) would have required the Insurance Commissioner and top-level appointees to publicly disclose meetings and communications with the insurance industry and others seeking to influence Department actions within seven days, and post these reports on the Department website quarterly.
PUBLIC CITIZEN AND CONSUMER WATCHDOG RELEASED THE FOLLOWING TODAY – The California Assembly Insurance Committee has declined to hold a hearing on a bill that would require insurance companies to disclose their role in fueling the climate crisis. The Insurance Investment Disclosures Bill (AB 1694), introduced by Assemblymember Marc Levine (D - Marin County) would mandate transparency and public disclosure by insurance companies of their investments in and underwriting of policies for fossil fuel companies and projects.
By Colby Bermel, POLITICO PRO
April 18, 2022
A new fossil fuel investments disclosure tool unveiled Monday by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara won out over a competing legislative proposal from his primary challenger, fellow Democrat Marc Levine, who accused Lara's staff of working against the bill.
By Aaron Sankin, THE MARKUP
February 1, 2022
A pair of newly public documents filed with a California administrative law judge show experts accusing the company of systematically overcharging customers it believed to be the most loyal around $1 billion over the past decade.
Los Angeles, CA – Despite attempting to conceal it, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and top lieutenant Bryant Henley communicated with two former lawmakers representing a workers’ compensation insurer at the heart of a pay-to-play scandal, according to new evidence in a public records lawsuit brought by Consumer Watchdog. The communications occurred while a high-profile merger and other regulatory matters involving the insurer were pending before the California Department of Insurance.
Los Angeles, CA - Insurance companies have overcharged Californians by billions of dollars since the COVID-19 lockdowns began in March 2020, sixteen months ago. Today, in a letter to California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, Consumer Watchdog proposed a plan to get that money back to consumers, and to require that insurance companies lower their rates to reflect the projected ongoing impact of the pandemic.
When Covid-19 hit, travel insurance didn’t help many travelers recover the cost of their canceled trips. What, then, were they paying for?
By Elaine Glusac, THE NEW YORK TIMES
June 17, 2020
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.
By Staff Writers, CITY NEWS SERVICE (LA)
April 7, 2020
LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Transamerica Life Insurance Co. has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, alleging that the company improperly increased the monthly charges of holders of universal life policies, the plaintiffs' attorneys announced today.
Los Angeles, CA -- A non-profit consumer group filed a lawsuit to compel California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara and the Department of Insurance to hand over records of Lara’s meetings and communications with insurance companies that used campaign contributions in an apparent attempt to influence policy decisions.
Download the lawsuit here: https://www.consumerwatchdog.org/sites/default/files/2020-02/Petition%2…
Consumer Watchdog’s Challenge Using Prop 103’s Consumer Participation Process Leads To An Overall 3.1% Rate Decrease
By Staff Writers, INSURANCE JOURNAL
January 6, 2020
Salaries at California’s State Compensation Fund are being called into question by some people in the state Capitol, it’s being reported.
By David Lazarus, LOS ANGELES TIMES
October 31, 2019
Vida Hamadani was hit twice this week by the Getty fire. As a Brentwood resident, she was forced to evacuate from her house and move in with her son.
As an independent insurance broker, she’s been fielding calls from clients asking what’s going to happen to their rates.
Decision announced Monday means company cannot sell policies in California
By Jeff McDonald, SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE
October 21, 2019
California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara accepted tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from company named in complaint
By Jeff McDonald, THE SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE
October 4, 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 – The nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog has written California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the District Attorneys of Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles calling for an investigation of money laundering and bribery relating to the fundraising scandal engulfing California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.
Los Angeles, CA – Following a Politico report that California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara billed the state for his Sacramento apartment, Consumer Watchdog has called on Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the District Attorneys for Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Francisco counties to launch an investigation over the potential theft of public funds.
Los Angeles, CA – Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s office will delay disclosure of the Commissioner’s calendar or records of his meetings with insurance companies to August 31st, according to a communication sent to Consumer Watchdog.
Commissioner Lara said that he would disclose his calendars in response to revelations that he took $54,300 in campaign contributions from insurance executives and their spouses, took actions that benefited the insurance company connected to three of those donors, and met with the company’s CEO.
Watch the video of California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara addressing insurance industry lawyers in Hollywood on July 25, 2019. The video was posted by Politico to accompany their July 29, 2019 story:
POLITICO: Lara tells insurers he's 'receptive' to their ideas, including vehicle data use.
Los Angeles, CA – Reporting published in the San Diego Union Tribune Saturday reveals that California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara intervened on the side of a workers’ compensation insurer on at least four separate occasions after receiving contributions from insurance executives and their wives with connections to the company.
Los Angeles, CA -- Consumer Watchdog said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara’s decision to return over $54,000 in contributions from donors tied to a company seeking the Commissioner’s approval for an acquisition was an “important first step that protects the credibility of the elected position you hold.” The non-profit advocacy organization urged the Commissioner to return the money in a letter yesterday.
Out-of-State Insurance Executive and Spouses Donate As Insurer Seeks Lara’s Approval of its Pending Acquisition
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 – California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, who has approved $292 million in auto and homeowners’ insurance rate increases since being elected, has received a “D” average from the nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog on his first four-month report card.
Los Angeles, CA --- More than 60 environmental, consumer and social justice organizations petitioned California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today seeking first in the nation emergency regulations to require insurance companies to disclose the fossil fuel projects they insure, even as climate change-exacerbated catastrophes are costing insurance companies billions.
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.
Los Angeles, CA — As a UN panel finds the world is losing the war with global warming and urgent action is needed, US insurance companies have reported holding more than $50.9 billion in fossil fuel investments that exacerbate climate change, according to reporting to national insurance regulators.
Consumer Watchdog’s review of public filings reveals nine of the 10 largest American insurance companies have considered the impact of climate change on their investments, but only two, AIG and Farmers, say that they have altered their investment strategy in response.
This oped was published in the San Francisco Chronicle on October 5, 2018
What if hospitals sold crack, doctors offered cigarettes in their waiting rooms, and firefighters gave out flamethrowers?
San Francisco, CA – The nonprofit consumer group responsible for the most effective regulation of the insurance industry in America said today it would be challenging America’s insurance companies to join their European counterparts in refusing to underwrite coal and fossil fuel projects.
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.