Consumers Need Healthy Insurance Competition in California

President's Message:

A vibrant insurance market in California is critical to the growth of the state’s economy.  If the Golden State is expected to sustain its status as the fourth largest economy in the world, California’s independent insurance agents and brokers must have access to insurance markets competing for their policyholders’ risks.  Insurance drives entrepreneurship, innovation, and capitalism. 

IIABCal members have been impacted by carriers that have either exited personal lines or stopped accepting new property and/or auto business; other carriers have imposed significant underwriting restriction on new risks.  For IIABCal’s 14,000 members, who serve as the front line for consumers, it has become increasingly difficult - if not impossible - to secure insurance. 

Seizing The Initiative

The backlog of carriers’ rate filings at the California Department of Insurance (CDI) is a significant factor in the carriers’ decisions.  Current rate levels are inadequate, and California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara refuses to consider rate increase requests or approve rates commensurate with the amount of exposure insurers are being asked to assume after catastrophic disasters.  IIABCal members are left to deliver the bad news to policyholders.  In what General Counsel Steve Young described as the “worst crisis facing the industry – and consumers – in the past 34 years,” Lara and state lawmakers do nothing.  However,  IIABCal is now seizing the initiative! 

IIABCal has hired a nationally prominent insurance law firm, Eversheds Sutherland, and the highly respected insurance actuarial firm, Milliman, that has researched and drafted legislation that could reopen the property insurance marketplace by giving insurers credit for reinsurance expenses, permitting them to use state-of-the-art loss modeling tools, and expediting CDI’s prior approval rate process.  

We Need Your Help To Enact This Legislation!  

First, tell us your stories!  In this issue of the Insider, you will see a short questionnaire we are asking our members to complete and send back to us.  How are you being impacted? How are your clients being harmed? 

Second, we need your financial support.  IIABCal expects the first phase of legal and consulting expenses will exceed $150,000.  We need your support of the Legal Defense Fund today to pay for critical outside consultants. In addition, a contribution to IIPAC, our political action committee, will help elect and re-elect legislators who understand the challenges we face, and the critical role we play in nurturing the state’s economy. 

Our greatest weapon in this fight is you!   Please join our campaign!