California Department of Insurance

California’s Senate Bill 2401 is making its way through the legislature and will hopefully bring some important changes to the way insurance companies train their out of state adjusters who handle California based policyholder’s claims. The bill, also known as the Insurance Adjuster Act of 2019, was created by Senator Bill Dodd to eliminate confusion and delays caused by out-of-state or unaware adjusters.
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California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara

California policyholders historically have a very involved and consumer protecting Department of Insurance. Those wishing to file California consumer complaints about slow paying, wrongfully denying or simply bad insurance companies have a fairly easy method to do so.
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Under California Insurance Code section 1861.05(b), most property and casualty insurers seeking a rate change must submit an application that includes various financial information and “such other information as the commissioner may require,” including what the Department of Insurance describes as “underwriting rules.” “Underwriting rules” are “any rule or factor used by an insurer in the process of examining, accepting, or rejecting insurance risks, and classifying those risks selected in order to charge the proper premium for each.”1
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More states across the country are implementing legislation allowing for the legal use of cannabis. Currently 23 States and the District of Columbia allow for medical use with four of the states and D.C. also allowing recreational use. The conflicts between state and federal law have left businesses uninsured and often without access to bank accounts.
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Most homeowners and commercial insurance policies contains exclusions for loss or damages caused by mudflow or other similar occurrences. An example of on such exclusion is included below:

b. Earth Movement and Settlement, meaning earthquake, which includes land shock wavers or tremors before, during or after a volcanic eruption; landslide; mudflow; sinkhole; earth sinking, rising or shifting; clay shrinkage or other expansion or contraction of soils or organic materials; decay of buried or organic materials; setline cracking or expansion of foundation;


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Last month, the California Department of Insurance issued a notice to insurance companies, insurance agents, and public adjusters regarding the recent wildfires in the state. Although the notice is directed to insurance companies, agents, and adjusters, it provides useful information for policyholders affected by the wildfires. According to the Department of Insurance press release discussing the notice, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones directed the Department to issue the notice following reports that insurance adjusters were giving wildfire victims incorrect information about their property insurance claims.
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My colleague Denise Sze recently blogged about the Butte and Valley wildfires. More than 5,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Indeed, many residents face a painful road to recovery.

Last week, to increase the speed of the recovery process for wildfire victims, California Insurance Commissioner Jones obtained agreements from several insurance companies to adopt various claims handling reforms.


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On this blog, we often try to educate homeowners so they can be protected. In the past, we have urged homeowners to read their homeowner insurance policies and to ask questions if there are terms or provisions they do not understand. Well, here is another important tip: Obtain a copy of your policy from your insurance company at least once a year. Why? It is the best way to confirm that you have valid insurance coverage.


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This past week, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) settled an enforcement action against an insurer over claims handling practices from the November 2008 Sayre wildfire. The insurer charged with wrongdoing was New Hampshire Insurance Company (“New Hampshire”), a subsidiary of AIG. The Sayre fire burned in Sylmar, California, and was the eighth most damaging wildfire in California history in terms of structural damage. It destroyed over 600 structures.


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