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home / insurance / in the media



Contra Costa Times (California) - Jun 28, 2005   
A Bonus for Allstate Customers
"Allstate had cheated its customers with a series of arbitrary and unfair actions," said Douglas Heller, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


The Boston Globe - Jun 20, 2005   
WHOSE FAULT IS NO FAULT?
It isn't Mitt Romney's fault that the Massachusetts auto insurance system was broken when he took office. But, if he insists on clinging to the no fault system and giving insurers carte blanche to set rates, unhappy drivers will know it's his fault now.... more


Marketplace Radio Program (NPR) - Jun 09, 2005   
Cooking the books?
After years of running insurance giant AIG, Maurice Greenber has tendered his resignation from the board. Greenberg and AIG's former CFO were accused of up fluffing the books. But commentator Jamie Court says, "isn't that just business as usual?"... more


Los Angeles Times - May 27, 2005   
ID Theft Coverage Draws Criticism;
Activists say insurers, which share data, are profiting from a need they helped create.
Rather than rely on insurance, Doug Heller with FTCR, and other activists say consumers should demand tougher laws regulating how their personal data are used.... more


CNNMoney.com - May 26, 2005   
Homeowners insurance: Use it and lose it
"It has been a very strange development," says Doug Heller, a spokesman for the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights. "Consumers are being threatened with non-renewal for filing legitimate claims."... more


San Gabriel Valley Tribune - May 13, 2005   
Insurance, credit scores don't mix
Assemblyman Ron Calderon's bill allowing insurance companies to use consumer credit ratings to determine eligibility for homeowner policies is bad for consumers and could slow a booming housing market.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - May 05, 2005   
State bill would alter insurance rate policy
Some consumer groups, such as the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, complained that using credit scores would hurt low-income and minority customers, who often have worse credit, and is irrelevant to homeowners insurance.... more


Whittier Daily News - May 04, 2005   
Committee OKs Calderon home insurance bill;
Credit scores would be factor in sale
"Ron Calderon has turned his back on his community in order to serve the interests of the insurance community today," said Doug Heller, executive director of Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 15, 2005   
Insurance Renewal Rules Proposed;
Garamendi says disclosure regulations could protect people from 'use-it-and-lose-it' home policies.
Douglas Heller of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica said his group would support Garamendi in efforts to stop insurers from "punishing customers who have the audacity to use the insurance policy they pay for."... more


STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE (Massachusetts) - Apr 01, 2005   
LA-BASED ADVOCATE WITH LOCAL TIES PITCHES REPEAL OF NO-FAULT AUTO INSURANCE
The report, released by the non-profit, non-partisan Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, concludes that repealing the no-fault system would immediately lead to fewer insurance claims and lower rates.... more


The Brockton Enterprise - Apr 01, 2005   
The many faults of no-fault insurance
Did you have any doubt that Massachusetts has the worst auto insurance system in the country? If you did, read a new report from the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which points out all the faults of no-fault insurance.... more


The Boston Globe - Mar 30, 2005   
CALIF. GROUP URGES REPEAL OF MASS. NO-FAULT AUTO INSURANCE
Harvey Rosenfield, founder of FTCR in Santa Monica and author of a 1988 auto insurance reform measure in California, said no-fault, where lawsuits are restricted and drivers settle claims with their own insurer regardless of who is at fault, is a recipe f... more


Lowell Sun (Lowell, MA) - Mar 30, 2005   
Study: Massachusetts no-fault insurance system hurts drivers
Harvey Rosenfield contended that no-fault premiums are higher because twice the number of people are covered as both parties involved in an accident are paid, and that there are incentives for people without health insurance to commit fraud.... more


The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA) - Mar 30, 2005   
Group says no-fault more costly system;
Mass. drivers pay extra $50 on average per policy, it says
Carmen Balber, a spokeswoman for the group FTCR, said it highlighted Massachusetts because a task force of regulators and elected officials is meeting to review insurance laws in the Bay State.... more


The Boston Herald - Mar 30, 2005   
Faulting 'no-fault' insurance;
Drivers taken for a $200M ride?
Insurance premiums on average are 19 percent higher in states that have no-fault insurance, said Harvey Rosenfeld, whose group FTCR, was a leader in pushing auto-insurance reform in California in the late 1980s.... more


Associated Press - Mar 29, 2005   
Report: states with no-fault insurance pay more
"The bottom line is that no-fault is a bonanza for insurance companies. It's a disaster for consumers," said Harvey Rosenfield, an attorney with the nonprofit consumer group sponsoring the report, the California-based FTCR.... more


The Orange County Register - Mar 23, 2005   
State to weigh Safeco quake-insurance rate hike;
The insurer wants to increase its typical premiums by 30 percent, to $762 annually.
No date is set for Safeco's hearing. It's a response to a challenge by the nonprofit Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said Lawrence Markey Jr., a lawyer for the group. Safeco submitted the request to the Insurance Department in August.... more


The Charleston Gazette - Mar 09, 2005   
Bill would allow instant rate hikes for business insurance
The Insurance Commission can't have it both ways, said Lawrence Markey Jr., staff attorney for California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. Insurance companies like a file-and-use system because it makes it easier to increase profits... more


Los Angeles Times - Feb 27, 2005   
State Farm rate proposal challenged
FTCR said its analysis indicates that State Farm\'s request is excessive because it inflates the insurer\'s estimated future losses, seeks an excessive profit and includes an excessive provision for overhead expenses.... more


CBS Evening News 6:30 PM EST - Feb 26, 2005   
Insurance companies may not cover mudslide destruction to homes in Southern California
Mr. DOUG HELLER (FTCR): Who\'d expect that they wouldn\'t be covered? That\'s the most obvious thing. My house was destroyed by a rainstorm. I should be covered. But the way the insurance companies write their policies, it gets excluded.... more


Los Angeles Times   - Feb 20, 2005   
LETTERS -- Malpractice Rates Fell After Prop. 103 Passed
Dr. Robert Hertzka is dead wrong when he claims that doctors' medical malpractice premiums began to fall in 1985 when California's malpractice damage cap law was upheld in court.... more


Los Angeles Times - Feb 11, 2005   
Tenacious Underdog;
Richard Alarcon has won by reaching out to all ethnicities. But he has also burned bridges.
"I was frankly impressed," said Doug Heller, executive director of the nonpartisan FTCR, based in Santa Monica. "Sen. Alarcon was stronger on the issue of protecting workers and standing up to insurance companies than anyone else in the Senate."... more


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Feb 03, 2005   
'Cap' cheats patients and doctors
For the insurance companies hoping to profit from the cap, this would be a dream come true. But make no mistake: the $250,000 cap will fail to lower doctors' insurance costs in Georgia, as they have elsewhere across the country.... more


Los Angeles Times - Feb 03, 2005   
State Cap on Damages Appeals to President
Although California malpractice premiums are lower than the national average, the real reason may not be MICRA but Proposition 103, a 1988 measure that rolled back all casualty insurance rates by 20% and required the approval for any rate increase.... more


Chicago Tribune - Jan 16, 2005   
COMMENTARY; Regulate insurance to fight malpractice 'crisis'
The insurance industry pushing for tort reform? Kind of like the Big Bad Wolf trying to prohibit little pigs from living in brick houses.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 14, 2005   
For Insurance Claimants, Wording Is Slippery Slope;
Distinction between what constitutes a flood and a slide can dictate whether one is covered.
Doug Heller, executive director of FTCR in Los Angeles, said it was good that insurance companies were bringing disaster claims specialists in to assess the damage, but the fear is they\'re going to bring in people essentially for denying claims.... more


Newhouse News Service - Jan 11, 2005   
Commentary: The President Prescribes Retribution
In using the crisis to settle a political score with the trial lawyers, Bush is guilty of presidential malpractice.
A study by FTCR, using the experience in California and statistics developed by the federal government's auditing office, makes the case that capping jury awards has had little impact on malpractice insurance rates. What works best is tighter regulation... more


Hartford Courant (Connecticut) - Jan 11, 2005   
Connecticut governor orders rate debate on medical malpractice insurance
Malpractice Premium Forges Rare Alliance
FTCR challenged Medical Protective's proposed 29.2 percent rate increase for California last year. The company ended up accepting an 11.8 percent increase there.... more


The New York Times - Dec 31, 2004   
States vs. U.S.: Who Will Police Insurance Firms?
"Federal regulation would substitute a deregulated environment that would wipe out what pitifully limited regulation exists at the state level," said Harvey Rosenfield, a California lawyer and founder of FTCR. "States need to pass laws to make regulation... more


Los Angeles Times - Dec 25, 2004   
Insurers Back U.S. Oversight;
With states pushing to tighten their regulation, the industry embraces the idea of federal standards.
The insurance industry is "threatening a federal takeover in order to scare our state lawmakers into weakening state consumer protections," said Doug Heller, executive director of FTCR in Los Angeles. "The push in D.C. is to lowest-common-denominator stan... more


The Los Angeles Times - Dec 03, 2004   
Party Is Over on Workers' Comp
Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has called for workers' comp premium reductions totaling 22% to match the savings by insurers, but the insurers are in the driver's seat. They don't have to listen to what he says.... more


Los Angeles Times - Nov 28, 2004   
Less of a cushion;
Insurers are reducing coverage for homeowners and canceling their policies after claims.
Underinsured homes. Ever-rising premiums. Stealth changes. Intrusive satellite inspections. Blacklists of homeowners who have filed multiple claims. Policy cancellations. These are a few of the current complaints about of homeowners insurance in Californi... more


Cleveland Plain Dealer - Nov 26, 2004   
Lawsuit limits grind forward despite criticism
Last month, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights released a document from the nation\'s largest medical malpractice insurer, GE Medical Protective, that the company filed with the Texas Department of Insurance.... more


Contra Costa Times (California) - Nov 01, 2004   
Lockyer launches insurance probe
Consumer watchdog Harvey Rosenfield alleges Spitzer\'s probe merely exposed decades of corruption that plagued the industry while government regulators and prosecutors did nothing.... more


Associated Press - Oct 29, 2004   
California joins in nationwide insurance probe
FTCR sued Novato-based Firemans Fund Insurance Co. on Friday, alleging the firm is giving its agents financial incentives to dissuade them from giving 20 percent "good driver" discounts to qualified drivers, which would be a violation of California's Prop... more


The Oregonian - Oct 28, 2004   
ELECTION 2004: MEASURE 35 - CRITICS SAY DAMAGES LIMIT DIDN'T HELP TEXAS
"These insurance companies are unwilling to pass on the savings to doctors. They want to keep the profits for themselves," said Doug Heller, a spokesman for FTCR, a California-based group that brought the rate increase request to light this week.... more


The Wall Street Journal - Oct 28, 2004   
Malpractice Insurer Sees Little Savings in Award Caps
"When the largest malpractice insurer in the nation tells a regulator that caps on damages don't work, every legislator, regulator and voter in the nation should listen," said FTCR's executive director, Douglas Heller.... more


United Press International - Oct 25, 2004   
U.S. insurance scandal's effect spreading
In the United States, consumer advocacy groups are pushing hard to see contingent insurance commissions or Placement Service Agreements (PSAs) eliminated, or at least more thoroughly regulated.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Oct 24, 2004   
TWICE BURNED;
Fire victims are finding companies canceling, or declining to renew, their homeowners insurance
"The biggest thing we've seen after any catastrophe is insurance companies trying to evade writing policies in the areas that were affected or trying to limit the coverage they offer," said Harvey Rosenfield, who heads FTCR in Santa Monica.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Oct 21, 2004   
Insurance probe widens
Doug Heller, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, says the proposed regulations don't go far enough.... more


Los Angeles Times - Oct 20, 2004   
State Targets Insurers' Practices;
Proposed regulations would boost disclosure of fees that brokers get for selling policies.
Consumer activist Douglas Heller said the proposal didn't go far enough. Even if disclosed, commissions paid by insurers to brokers pose a conflict of interest and should be banned, said Heller, executive director of FTCR.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Sep 25, 2004   
Inspections a Surprise to Homeowners;
In fire-prone areas, insurance companies are using satellite technology to identify high-risk customers.
The practice is so new that even insurance watchdog groups were unaware that some home inspections were now being conducted by orbiting spacecraft peering down with color cameras that are able to observe objects as small as 6 inches.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Sep 21, 2004   
Insurers Cut Rates, but It's No Trend Yet;
Two California companies reduce their auto premiums. Others appear to take a more cautious route.
Under Prop 103, the insurance commissioner has the power to independently call hearings on rates. Garamendi has said that insurers should realize that they won't be allowed to simply sit back and collect excessive profits by declining to seek rate decreas... more


The Orange County Register (California) - Sep 01, 2004   
State Farm slashing car-insurance rates;
The 7.6 percent cut will save customers $215 million a year and pressure other companies to follow suit.
Advocacy groups applauded the reduction, saying it is in line with auto-reform regulation and follows a national trend in which insurers are vying to offer more competitive rates.... more


Associated Press - Sep 01, 2004   
State Farm plans to reduce rates for California customers
Advocacy groups applauded the reduction, saying it is in line with auto-reform regulation and follows a national trend in which insurers are vying to offer more competitive rates.... more


Associated Press - Aug 18, 2004   
Panel OKs former insurance industry lobbyist as regulation chief
Doug Heller, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said Gausewitz should agree to recuse himself from OAL evaluations of insurance regulations. ... more


The Herald-Dispatch (Huntington, WV) - Aug 17, 2004   
Home insurance still on the rise;
Bad weather and West Virginia laws blamed for increases in rates
California saw homeowner\'s insurance rates drop once voters adopted regulations (Prop 103) to roll back insurance prices and make the process of raising rates more public, said Doug Heller, executive director of the California-based FTCR.... more


Los Angeles Times - Aug 17, 2004   
Insurers Might Stand to Gain From Charley;
The Florida disaster could slow down a cost-cutting trend but isn't expected to affect California rates.
Doug Heller, a senior advocate for the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights in Santa Monica, said many victims of last year's California firestorm also discovered that what they thought was full-replacement coverage was not enough to fully rebuild... more


Sacramento Bee - Aug 17, 2004   
Pick by governor raises concerns
Choice to head Office of Administrative Law has strong links to insurance industry.
"I have no reason to think Bill Gausewitz couldn't competently handle issues on logging, or school issues. But I do believe he's incapable of divorcing himself from his years of lobbying for the insurance industry," said Doug Heller of the Santa Monica-ba... more


The Indianapolis Star - Jul 24, 2004   
Top regulator sports a tough image;
California commissioner says consumers come 1st; some feel he's driven by political aspirations.
"Our position on Garamendi -- and I think his decision today proves it -- is that he's a tough regulator who stands up to special interests," said Jerry Flanagan, spokesman for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Los Angeles.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Jun 23, 2004   
Bill sought by fire victims rejected by Assembly panel
"The insurance industry plays the game that fire survivors can't afford to," said Doug Heller, executive director of FTCR. "It's a tragedy that the stories of these survivors can't be heard over the clanging of insurance industry donations."... more


Press Enterprise (Riverside, CA) - Jun 23, 2004   
Insurers' fire policies criticized;
PROPOSAL: Coverage cuts in response to claims spur drive for legislation.
"Insurance companies are punishing consumers if they have the gall to use their policy," said Doug Heller, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Sacramento Bee - Jun 23, 2004   
Insurance bill would limit dropping of policyholders
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights released an itemized list Tuesday of more than $500,000 in campaign contributions the past two years by the insurance industry to members of the 17-person Assembly committee.... more


Charlotte Observer (North Carolina) - Jun 06, 2004   
INSURANCE BILL DRAWS COMPLAINTS;
CRITICS SAY LEGISLATION'S LANGUAGE IS TOO BROAD TO PROTECT CONSUMERS
North Carolina lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday intended to protect consumers who only ask their insurance company a question but get tagged as filing a claim. However, consumer advocates said the bill is so broad that it doesn't do a bit of goo... more


Tulsa World (Oklahoma) - Jun 06, 2004   
Insurer bill gets a mixed reaction
Bill's author says it reduces red tape, but critic claims it strips away protections.
"This 'use and file' system demonstrates that the insurance industry has been able to succeed in getting what it wants," said Douglas Heller, senior consumer advocate with FTCR. "Use and file is what insurance executives dream about when they go to bed."... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Jun 03, 2004   
INSURERS HIKE TAB TO COVER HOUSE;
HOMEOWNER RATE RISE IS 5-YEAR LOW
"We actually don't believe there needs to be any rate increase in California due to the fires because homeowners have been buying insurance for years to cover a disaster like last year's wildfires," said Doug Heller with FTCR.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 29, 2004   
Garamendi Seeks 21% Cut in Comp Rates;
The commissioner's proposal is received cautiously by insurers, employers and Schwarzenegger.
The governor's reluctance to publicly pressure insurers to bring down ratesin the wake of the workers' comp overhaul has some consumer advocates questioning his commitment to follow through on his promise to slash workers' compensation costs.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 14, 2004   
Going Slow on Cutting Premiums;
Insurers say savings will come from workers' compensation reform, but probably not as soon as employers wish.
Douglas Heller, director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a Santa Monica activist group, said premiums should drop by at least the 14% estimated by the rating bureau.... more


LA Weekly (California) - Apr 23, 2004   
X-RAYING WORKERS' COMP
"The reason rates are so high is not because of a sudden spate of injuries or litigation or anything that's particularly new, but because the insurance industry has absolutely gouged businesses in this state.", said Doug Heller, executive director with FT... more


The Recorder - Apr 20, 2004   
Step right up - taxpayer advocate puts money where mouth is
Dou Heller, executive director of the rabble-rousing Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, issued a "I Read It and I Get It" contest, which challenged lawmakers to prove they had read the workers' comp bill before voting. There were no takers.... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 18, 2004   
Some Are Unsettled by Gov.'s Victory;
Schwarzenegger used his clout to quickly win workers' comp reform, but some note that a 77-page bill passed with little public scrutiny.
FTCR went to the Capitol rotunda Friday, offering to make a $1,000 charitable donation on behalf of any lawmaker who could correctly answer 10 questions about the bill. There were no takers.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Apr 17, 2004   
Governor beams over workers' comp overhaul
Watchdog groups wondered how many lawmakers knew much of what they had sped into law. After the bill emerged Thursday, the nonpartisan FTCR gave each legislator a statement that, along with a 12-question quiz, asked them to declare they had read the entir... more


The New York Times - Apr 17, 2004   
Schwarzenegger Slays Another Dragon, Winning Overhaul of Workers' Compensation
Mr. Schwarzenegger, who as a candidate promised that he would not be swayed by special-interest money, has accepted more than $500,000 in donations from workers' compensation insurers and has drawn criticism for doing so.... more


Associated Press - Apr 09, 2004   
Governor to keep $100,000 from workers' comp insurer
"I think what is going on is every so often Schwarzenegger will return a contribution in order to clean himself," said Doug Heller with FTCR. "If you take a bath but don't use soap you're still dirty. I think that's what's going on here."... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Apr 07, 2004   
Save Prop. 103
California's congressional delegation needs to work hard -- and fast -- to stop federal legislation that could undermine this state's voter-approved controls on auto insurance rates.... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 05, 2004   
Hitch in Workers' Comp Reform;
State legislators debate whether imposing rate caps on premiums would relieve employers or drive away insurers.
California deregulated workers' compensation insurance in 1995. That is one of the major reasons the workers' comp system is such a mess, said Douglas Heller, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica.... more


San Gabriel Valley Tribune (California) - Apr 02, 2004   
OPINION: Auto insurance pricing that makes sense to all? Good luck
Consumer groups including the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, whose president Harvey Rosenfield wrote and sponsored Proposition 103, are now insisting the rules change to end so-called "zip code discrimination."... more


Oakland Tribune - Apr 01, 2004   
Garamendi, activists assail bid to deregulate insurance
Foundation says Republican congressman's proposal would "eviscerate Proposition 103"
California consumer activists and the state's insurance commissioner criticized a Republican proposal to remove state price controls on insurance premiums and shift regulation of the industry to the federal government.... more


Minnesota Public Radio - Marketplace - Mar 31, 2004   
Federal Insurance Deregulation? It's no April Fools Joke
When any big industry says it's time to reregulate, that means one thing: Let's deregulate. That's the game the insurance industry is playing.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Mar 26, 2004   
Governor considers proposal
Insurance industry suggestion could cut workers' compensation costs
"The commissioner has to have the authority to enforce rate limits. Anything short of that will allow insurers to gouge businesses and reap their own financial rewards," said Jerry Flanagan, a spokesman for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Right... more


Associated Press - Mar 25, 2004   
Governor willing to consider rate regulation to ensure savings
"There's alot of pitfalls that can make regulation a sham," said Doug Heller, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. "We do not want insurance companies to be able to pull wool over our eyes and end up with no savings."... more


San Jose Mercury News (California) - Mar 25, 2004   
Workers' comp showdown near;
SCHWARZENEGGER PREPARES BALLOT QUESTION
Doug Heller, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, lauded the governor's new stance, but said the real proof that Schwarzenegger is not beholden to insurance companies would come in his actions.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Mar 25, 2004   
Governor shifts stance on workers' comp debate;
Schwarzenegger open to insurance rate regulation
Doug Heller, an advocate from the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said 25 states regulate workers' compensation rates, including some that have avoided a crisis.... more


Sacramento Bee - Mar 24, 2004   
Rate regulation key hurdle in workers' comp pact
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights today plans to propose regulations similar to those under the groundbreaking Proposition 103, a measure approved by voters in 1988 that slashed property and auto insurance rates.... more


The Orange County Register (California) - Mar 22, 2004   
Governor's team for workers' comp drive is battle-tested;
Insiders who marshaled Props. 57-58 support are ready if issue goes to ballot.
Critics, such as Doug Heller of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, say Schwarzenegger's campaign apparatus is a "hide-the-contributor" shell game that opens the door for special-interest money.... more


Sacramento Bee - Mar 20, 2004   
Governor stops insurers' donations
The Santa Monica-based FTCR said Schwarzenegger's hiatus from accepting workers' compensation insurance contributions only pays lip service to his campaign pledge that he'd be different from other politicians and not beholden to special-interests... more


The Washington Times - Mar 19, 2004   
Getting insurance a new buying barrier
Critics and watchdog groups, including the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, claim that the losses are compounded by financial missteps by the industry, which invested heavily in stock losers such as Enron and WorldCom.... more


Sacramento Bee - Mar 17, 2004   
Cases against California lawmakers fail to get equal attention
The selective attitude about delving into allegations of misconduct is being demonstrated anew in two other cases.... more


Los Angeles Times - Mar 12, 2004   
Consumers Can Sue Insurers Over Rates, Appeals Court Says;
The decision in a case filed against a Mercury General unit upholds a key part of the auto reform Proposition 103.
The decision upholds an important part of Prop 103 that gives consumers the right to take complaints to court and not "have to go before the commissioner to make their case," said Pam Pressley, head of litigation for FTCR, the group that wrote Prop 103.... more


Tulare Advance-Register (Tulare, CA) - Mar 11, 2004   
County goes to bat for rural drivers
Supervisors say insurance rates go up under plan
A petition before Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has asked that an investigation of how some factors, such as where a person lives, dictate the cost of car insurance.The petitioners include FTCR and the cities of LA, SF and Oakland.... more


Fresno Bee (California) - Mar 10, 2004   
Insurance rates for vehicles discussed
Residents at a Fresno hearing voice concerns about increases.
Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi said "This system is unfair. You ask the industry or others why it happens and they shrug their shoulders. ... The insurance industry says this will raise rates throughout California. That is a lie."... more


BestWire - Mar 05, 2004   
ALLSTATE SETTLES CALIFORNIA INSURANCE-SCORING DISPUTE FOR $3 MILLION
The initiative\'s sponsor, the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, has argued that consideration of a policyholder\'s credit history unfairly discriminates against lower-income and minority residents, which Allstate vehemently... more


Los Angeles Times - Mar 02, 2004   
Allstate Settles Over Use of Credit Scores
The $3-million fine is "a significant warning shot" because "it's important for the insurance industry to realize that it will be punished if it crosses the line on credit scoring," said Doug Heller, executive director of FTCR.... more


The Houston Chronicle - Feb 29, 2004   
State Farm fight 3 years long, with no end in sight
"Insurers get to hold the money and reap the investment rewards," said Doug Heller, of California-based FTCR. "The insurance company may have the resources to fight it out, but what's the low-income policyholder going to do?"... more


Charleston Gazette (West Virginia) - Feb 24, 2004   
Bill would make it easier to drop policyholders
Insurance rates could actually increase if the bill passes, said Doug Heller, a consumer advocate with FTCR. "If insurance companies can freely kick people off the rolls, they will do that when times get tight, then sign people up again at higher prices."... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Feb 20, 2004   
WEDDING PERKS: Married couples save on inheritance, insurance
An unmarried couple pays about 22 percent more for car insurance than a married one, according to Doug Heller of FTCR. Homeowners insurers may require one partner to be treated as a renter. Life insurance firms can challenge a partner's "insurable interes... more


News Herald (Port Clinton, OH) - Feb 04, 2004   
Redfern pushes for insurance commissioner
California residents voted in 1988 to begin electing an insurance commissioner. Since then, according to the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, automobile liability premiums declined by more than 22 percent.... more


Journal Record Legislative Report (Oklahoma) - Jan 29, 2004   
Oklahoma Senator calls for reform of insurance industry
"Insurance premiums and profits are what need to be capped, not payments to people who are truly injured," said Sen. Frank Shurden, D-Henryetta.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Jan 28, 2004   
Garamendi claims bias in auto insurance pricing
State Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi said yesterday that auto insurance pricing guidelines used in California are discriminatory and can cause a wide discrepancy in the cost of insurance from one neighborhood to the next.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jan 27, 2004   
Insurers Still Favor ZIP Code Over Driving Record;
Garamendi considers changing rules that he says are unfair to urban drivers. He faces the opposition of industry, rural lawmakers.
Garamendi does not need the support of the Legislature to change the regulations, but he is seeking legislative support on other issues and has responded to Wolk and other lawmakers who have expressed concern. He has promised to hold hearings in rural are... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Jan 25, 2004   
BOARD CHANGE COULD SHAPE WORKERS' COMP REFORM
"The key tool that is currently missing from the market is regulation of the industry," said Doug Heller, a senior consumer advocate at The Foundation For Taxpayer & Consumer Rights in Santa Monica.... more


Alameda Times-Star (Alameda, CA) - Jan 24, 2004   
Judge nixes Perata's insurance law;
Measure aimed at fining drivers who allowed policies to lapse
A judge has thrown out a car-insurance law written by state Sen. Don Perata, D-Oakland, that consumer and civil rights groups said unfairly targeted low-income drivers.... more


City News Service - Jan 23, 2004   
Auto Insurance Premiums Higher on the 'Wrong Side' of ZIP Code, Groups Say
Harvey Rosenfield is author of Prop 103. "The voters (who passed Prop. 103) are looking to Insurance Commissioner Garamendi to correct this injustice, so that drivers who have a good safety record don't end up paying higher premiums... more


Associated Press - Jan 16, 2004   
Court invalidates auto insurance discount law
"It's a victory for the people," said Doug Heller, advocate with FTCR. "Judge Janavs stood foursquare as did the insurance commissioner to protect the public from unfair surcharges the public banned 15 years ago."... more


City News Service - Jan 15, 2004   
Car Insurance Suit
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs agreed with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights -- which filed suit to prevent the measure\'s implementation -- that SB 841 should be invalidated because it unlawfully amends Prop 103,... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Jan 12, 2004   
Fewer carry temblor insurance as industry changes its policies;
Northridge--10 Years Later
"The insurance industry knows it has the public over a barrel, and their response to the Northridge earthquake was this kind of broad attempt to reduce exposure across the board," said Doug Heller, an insurance specialist with FTCR.... more


The Pantagraph (Bloomington, IL) - Jan 11, 2004   
Headed in the right direction; State Farm reorganization well underway
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights criticized the companies for their "investment follies" during the stock market boom of the late 1990s.... more


The San Luis Obispo Tribune - Jan 09, 2004   
Auto rates could rise;
Bid to downplay geography would cause 25 percent increase here.
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, one of the groups petitioning Garamendi for a change, counters that most consumers would see their rates altered only slightly. Bad drivers and good drivers would see the biggest increases and decreases, it... more


Contra Costa Times (California) - Dec 24, 2003   
More homeowners dump quake insurance each year than buy it
Uninsured or underinsured homeowners face substantial financial risks: foreclosure, even bankruptcy. California taxpayers also would shoulder a massive burden, said Doug Heller, senior consumer advocate for the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights.... more


Bangor Daily News (Maine) - Dec 19, 2003   
Insurance carriers curb risk;
More home policies canceled, rates hiked
"Jacking up the rates has a double function," said Douglas Heller, senior consumer advocate for the California-based FTCR. "Those people that are buying the product are paying a much higher premium for their coverage. But it also serves as a deterrent:... more


Copley News Service - Dec 14, 2003   
Insurer may stay on legal hot seat
"State insurance regulators don't consistently hear about these kinds of cases, but when we start seeing lawsuits and settlements, it indicates there is a deeper problem and regulators should investigate," said Doug Heller, a spokesman for FTCR.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Dec 05, 2003   
Insurance rates face scrutiny
ZIP codes often determine how much drivers pay
Consumer groups are seeking to tighten a loophole in a state regulation that allows car insurers to charge higher rates to customers based on where they live instead of how they drive.... more


The Oakland Tribune - Dec 05, 2003   
Insurance based on ZIP code irks drivers
'It's insurance company larceny. We're being penalized because of where we live.'
Consumer groups want Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi to adopt a petition filed in May that would make insurance companies give less weight to ZIP codes and more to a person's driving record when setting premiums.... more


Contra Costa Times - Dec 05, 2003   
Advocates seek reforms on insurance
Harvey Rosenfeld said insurance companies are circumventing Prop 103, the insurance reform measure he authored. He stood on the "right" side of Broadway at the corner of 41st St. on Thursday morning to show how ZIP codes influence insurance rates.... more


The Detroit News - Dec 03, 2003   
Sting of high insurance spurs probe;
Granholm seeks reasons for soaring home, auto rates
Critics say its no coincidence that rates accelerated when the stock market turned down following the buoyant decade of the 1990s. During that time insurers made so much money in stock investments they weren\'t forced to raise rates in line with claims... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Nov 30, 2003   
At mercy of insurance companies? Some wildfire claimants told premiums will rise
Doug Heller, a consumer advocate with the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, was surprised to hear while searching for lower premiums that he had once filed a claim for theft. He had not.... more


North County Times - Nov 20, 2003   
WORKING THE WEB FOR INSURANCE INFORMATION
Some insurance advocate sites online: United Policyholders: www.unitedpolicyholders.org, Insurance Consumer Advocate Network: www.ican2000.com and the Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights: www.consumerwatchdog.org... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Nov 17, 2003   
Rising stock markets help to stem upward trend in insurance rates
"The insurance industry operates on a cycle," said Douglas Heller, an insurance specialist with FTCR. "When investment opportunities are strong, they want premium dollars to invest, and when the market is weak they want to close the doors."... more


City News Service - Nov 10, 2003   
Insurance Reform
Auto insurance rates in California have fallen 22 percent in the 15 years since voters approved Prop 103, an insurance reform plan, the author of the initiative said today.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Nov 06, 2003   
FARMERS DEFENDS USE OF ZIP CODES
California motorists spend as much as $600 more a year for insurance because of where they live, with policyholders in lower-income areas generally seeing greater spikes in premiums, according to The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


The Oregonian - Nov 03, 2003   
RISING INSURANCE COSTS HIT HOME;
FIRES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND FLOODS IN WASHINGTON STATE ARE LIKELY TO FUEL THE TREND THAT'S SURPRISING HOMEOWNERS
"Insurance companies are punishing customers for having the gall to use their product," said Doug Heller of FTCR in Santa Monica, Calif. Customers who file claims "are going to have this scarlet letter, they're on a blacklist."... more


Fresno Bee (California) - Nov 02, 2003   
Fire losses may not raise Valley insurance premiums
Doug Heller, senior consumer advocate for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, based in Santa Monica, said California has excellent safeguards in place to guard against unjustified insurance-rate increases.... more


CBS Evening News (6:30 PM ET) - Oct 31, 2003   
Fire victims in California may not get from their insurance companies what they expect
Mr. DOUG HELLER (FTCR): The insurance industry is in the position of power, so when you have an industry in the position of power, you need to have a police present, the regulators, the insurance commissioner with a watchful eye making sure that they don\... more


Alameda Times-Star (Alameda, CA) - Oct 30, 2003   
Fires deliver huge hit to insurers;
Industry says it's too early to tell whether rate increases will be needed to cushion blow
Doug Heller, consumer advocate with the Santa Monica-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumers Rights, said talking about the possibility of rate increases is the last thing he expects insurers to do at this time.... more


Sacramento Bee - Oct 29, 2003   
Fires ignite insurance fears
Huge home losses in Southern California could push rates higher, but the state will review requests.
"The insurance industry will look to exploit this tragedy to serve their interests, to push for rate increases," said Heller, of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Santa Monica.... more


CBS-TV Evening News (6:30 PM ET) - Oct 29, 2003   
Financial toll the fires are taking on California
Insurance experts predict these fires won\'t cost the state as much as the 1994 Northridge earthquake because so far no major infrastructure has been destroyed.... more


San Jose Mercury News (California) - Oct 29, 2003   
Fire could bring rise in insurance premiums;
HIGHER HOMEOWNER RATES POSSIBLE STATEWIDE, SOME SAY
"There is no doubt the insurance companies are right now considering the rate hikes they will want to impose not just on fire victims but statewide," said Doug Heller of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Associated Press - Oct 28, 2003   
Insurers, industry watchdogs prepare for SoCal fire's aftermath
Those trends don't bode well for the Southern California victims, said Harvey Rosenfield, who heads the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. "Insurers are going to try to hold on to every dollar that they can," he predicted.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Oct 27, 2003   
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FIRESTORMS; Dangers Serve as Coverage Reminders;
Homeowners should inventory belongings for insurance. After a fire, they are advised to be alert and handle any problems quickly.
Douglas Heller with FTCR, a watchdog group, said homeowners should contact the state Insurance Department immediately if they have problems getting claims settled -- and be sure to get all communication with carriers in writing.... more


Business Insurance - Oct 27, 2003   
Senate panel hears debate on federal regulatory role
Support may be growing for some sort of federal role in insurance regulation, if the testimony of witnesses at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing last week is any indication.... more


City News Service - Oct 16, 2003   
Car Insurance Suit
Senate Bill 841, written at the behest of Mercury Insurance Co., also authorizes insurance companies to impose a surcharge on motorists applying for coverage for the first time, according to the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


The Los Angeles Daily Journal - Oct 16, 2003   
Groups Sue to Block Insurance Law, Contend Davis Is Biased
Activists Say Act Creates Illegal Surcharges
"This is the type of behavior that angered voters and why Davis was recalled," Harvey Rosenfield of FTCR, said before a Wednesday hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court. "Now we are trying to recall this law."... more


Associated Press - Oct 15, 2003   
Consumer advocates challenge new auto insurance discount law
"Proposition 103 says very explicitly that insurance companies cannot use the question of whether a driver has previously had auto insurance against them," Doug Heller, senior consumer advocate for FTCR, said Wednesday.... more


Philadelphia Daily News - Oct 07, 2003   
Beware of dog when seeking insurance;
Some firms have 'bad breed' lists
Doug Heller, of FTCR, said insurance companies appear to have gotten more discriminating in the past year and a half. He calls breed exclusion a case of "laziness and greed", and argues that insuring dog owners should be done on a case-by-case basis.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Sep 27, 2003   
Insurer to Drop Medical Policies;
Farmers Insurance says the malpractice business for doctors and hospital groups isn't profitable. It cites unlimited payouts for damages.
FTCR issued a statement asserting that Farmers' departure from the business does not make the case for payout limits. The organization argues that limits are unfair to victims and to the trial lawyers who represent them.... more


BestWire - Sep 25, 2003   
CONSUMER GROUP SUGGESTS MERCURY GENERAL PAID FOR DAVIS' SIGNATURE
FTCR opposed the bill, SB 841, on the grounds that it violates California's 15-year-old Proposition 103, which sets the specific factors that insurers may use in determining rates and eligibility for auto insurance.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Sep 25, 2003   
FARMERS DROPPING SECTOR;
MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INSURANCE TO BE CUT
Industry watchdogs were surprised by Farmers\' move as the malpractice business is generally manageable for most insurers in California due to stringent rate regulation which has been a tool in the state to maintain a stable environment.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Sep 24, 2003   
State Farm to Sell Home Insurance in State Again;
Insurer's limited return to the market on Oct. 1 comes after a restructuring of its California offices.
On Tuesday, an industry critic with FTCR said trends in the stock market also could be encouraging insurers to increase sales. "They don't want to miss an opportunity to invest new premium dollars in the rising market," said Doug Heller of FTCR.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Sep 23, 2003   
RECALL NOTEBOOK; Group Accuses Davis of Bill-Signing Deal
A consumer watchdog group charged Monday that $175,000 in contributions by Mercury General Corp. to Gov. Gray Davis' anti-recall effort were in exchange for the governor's signature last month on a car insurance bill the company wanted.... more


Minnesota Public Radio - Marketplace - Sep 19, 2003   
Insurance industry starts crying uncle over damage claims due to Hurricane Isabel
Mr. DOUG HELLER (FTCR): Insurance companies are risk assessors. That\'s what the industry is about, that\'s what they\'re supposed to do. So it\'s outrageous that there is discussion of using Hurricane Isabel as an excuse to raise rates. ... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Sep 15, 2003   
Garamendi promoting reform, himself;
California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi seeks workers' compensation reform
"The truth is Garamendi has stared the insurance industry in the eye, called their bluff and collected money for the public, I can't think of any other statewide politician who has done the same," said Jamie Court with FTCR.... more


Business Insurance - Sep 15, 2003   
California regulator cuts SCPIE med mal rate hike;
Investigation prompts commissioner's denial of 15.6% proposed increase
"We challenged this proposed rate hike because we believe SCPIE was trying to charge excessive premiums," said Douglas Heller, FTCR's senior consumer advocate. "They were just out of line."... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Sep 14, 2003   
LICENSE LAW'S SAFETY DEBATE; WILL IMMIGRANTS HAVE INSURANCE?
Harvey Rosenfield, president of FTCR, said even though illegal immigrants will have access to driver's licenses, they won't necessarily be able to afford auto insurance, and blamed another newly passed law that allows insurers to offer discounts to long... more


Orange County Register - Sep 12, 2003   
Mercury Insurance chips in for Davis
"This is a payoff," Doug Heller with FTCR said Thursday, the day the contribution was posted on the Secretary of State's website. "Davis is presenting himself as a reformed governor, but nothing has changed."... more


Pueblo Business Journal (Pueblo, CO) - Sep 12, 2003   
Colorado homeowners complaining about rising home insurance rates and cancelled coverage
"We're seeing insurance costs escalating and a rapid increase in non-renewals. More troubling, there is a quiet threat from insurers to consumers, in which they basically say, 'If you file a claim, you'll likely see your rate increase," said Doug Heller w... more


The Los Angeles Times - Sep 11, 2003   
Safeco to Sell Homeowners Policies Again;
The insurer says it is negotiating with the state Insurance Department over underwriting standards and a rate increase.
The insurer said it would resume homeowners insurance sales if the state approved their 19.7% rate increase. A consumers group, FTCR, said that it would appeal such an increase, throwing the matter into possibly months of administrative hearings.... more


Modern Healthcare - Sep 08, 2003   
Rolling back; Calif. limits malpractice insurer's rate hike
Heller called the rollback a tribute to Proposition 103, a 15-year-old initiative that requires insurance companies to justify any premium increases with the state insurance commissioner while providing consumers with the right to challenge rate increases... more


The Los Angeles Times - Sep 04, 2003   
Garamendi Cuts Malpractice Insurance Hike;
The rate increase will be 9.9%. The insurer had requested 15.6%.
The consumer group that caused the hearings by appealing the rate increase, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said the reduction in the rate increase means a $16 million overall savings for physicians in 2003... more


BestWire - Sep 03, 2003   
SCPIE HOLDINGS GETS MEDICAL-MALPRACTICE RATE HIKE IN CALIFORNIA
SCPIE Holdings Inc. said it was happy to get a 9.9% increase in its 2003 California medical-malpractice insurance rates, while a consumer advocacy group claimed victory because the insurer had sought more.... more


Los Angeles Daily News - Aug 19, 2003   
Insurers assisting Davis
"The problem is that legislators have until Sept. 12 to get their special-interest bills to Davis and the insurers want to make sure they get in there before their cash cows are taken out to slaughter," said Jerry Flanagan with FTCR.... more


CBS Evening News (6:30 PM ET) - CBS-TV - Aug 12, 2003   
California's economy
Mr. HARVEY ROSENFIELD (Consumer Rights Advocate): The things that made California the Golden State no longer exist. We have problems in housing, health care, mass transportation, highways.... more


Insurance Chronicle - Aug 11, 2003   
West Zone: Davis Signs Discount Bill
The measure, SB 841, which could also lead to higher premiums for drivers who let their coverage lapse for more than 90 days, was signed nearly a year after a similar bill was vetoed by the governor.... more


Associated Press - Aug 08, 2003   
Garamendi seeks governor's office that eluded him in 1994
Harvey Rosenfield, president of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a Santa Monica-based consumer advocacy group, said Garamendi is "well-versed in public policy, and that's something that Arnold (Schwarzenegger) doesn't bring to this."... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Aug 06, 2003   
Davis signs bill giving good drivers lower insurance premiums
Davis' signing has enraged consumer activist Harvey Rosenfield, the author of Proposition 103, who has said he will file a lawsuit over the bill. Rosenfield is expected to announce Thursday whether he will run for governor on the recall ballot... more


Sacramento Bee - Aug 05, 2003   
Davis signs insurance discount bill Foes say the law will hurt young, immigrant and low-income drivers.
"Governor Davis has sold out California voters on behalf of Mercury Insurance and other insurance companies that have been among his biggest donors," said Harvey Rosenfield, president of FTCR. "This bill symbolizes the pervasive corruption of California."... more


The Los Angeles Times - Aug 05, 2003   
A Bevy of Bills Is Signed;
Added protections for transgender residents, auto insurance measure are among new laws.
Harvey Rosenfield, author of Prop 103, argued that SB 841 would increase the number of uninsured drivers in California by making coverage more expensive for those least able to afford it.... more


Contra Costa Times (California) - Aug 05, 2003   
THE DAVIS RECALL Insurance reformer vows governor will pay for OK
The weekend signing of a bill similar to one the governor vetoed last year outraged consumer advocate Harvey Rosenfield. The registered independent declared he will either run for governor in the recall, endorse a replacement candidate or campaign to boot... more


Associated Press - Aug 04, 2003   
Davis signs bill giving discount to insured drivers
Consumer activists were fuming Monday after Gov. Gray Davis signed a bill allowing discounts to drivers who maintain auto insurance coverage, saying it benefited a major campaign contributor and penalized first-time insurance buyers.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jul 26, 2003   
Safeco Seeks Nearly 20% Rate Hike to Resume Selling Home Insurance;
The request for a fourth increase in three years comes just days after the company said it would halt sales because of a new state regulation.
"This is exactly what Enron did during the energy crisis, when power companies refused to make electricity available if we refused to pay exorbitant prices," said Doug Heller, a spokesman for FTCR.... more


San Jose Mercury News (California) - Jul 25, 2003   
Car-insurance bill called unfair to poor;
PROPOSAL FAVORS 'LOYALTY DISCOUNT'
Critics say the law would result in a surcharge for customers who have not had insurance before, or whose car-insurance policies are discontinued for 90 days or more. And such customers tend to be lower-income or those who've had recent financial hardship... more


Insurance Day - Jul 25, 2003   
US homeowners' cover confusion in two states
Safeco had tried to push rates up by an average of $132 a year, but its plans were foiled by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, which appealed to the California Department of Insurance under Proposition 103,... more


Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin) - Jul 19, 2003   
You Revealed; CLUE reports give insurance companies insight into your claim history
"ChoicePoint is basically becoming the private version of Big Brother. The information they keep on you is very personal and detailed -- about your credit history, auto claims and accidents, homeowner claims, including thefts." said Doug Heller, consumer... more


BestWire - Jul 18, 2003   
AUTO INSURANCE DISCOUNT BILL GOES TO GOVERNOR IN CALIFORNIA
"You can't counter a proposition passed by the people of the state with legislation passed by the Legislature. That's part of California constitution - if you want to counter a proposition, you have to do it by passing another proposition." said Doug Hel... more


Sacramento Bee - Jul 18, 2003   
Insurance discount bill sent to Davis
The firm backing the plan is a big donor to state leaders.
"This is the juice bill of the year, the most blatant cash-for-influence legislation," said Jamie Court, executive director of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Associated Press - Jul 17, 2003   
Assembly passes bill to give loyal insurance customers discounts
The Assembly approved auto insurance legislation Thursday that would let insurers offer discounts for longtime customers, despite arguments that it would hurt many low-income drivers and invite a lawsuit.... more


BestWire - Jul 10, 2003   
CALIF. ASSEMBLY PANEL DEFEATS INSURANCE SCORING, UNDERWRITING BILLS
Bills that would have banned the use of credit-based insurance scoring by insurers and granted the California Department of Insurance broad authority to regulate underwriting and pricing both failed to pass the state Assembly\'s Insurance Committee.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Jul 10, 2003   
Insurance Industry Wins on 2 Bills;
Assembly panel rejects measures sought by consumer activists on the use of credit scores, renewal policies for homeowners coverage.
The bills by Democratic Sens. Martha Escutia of Whittier and Jackie Speier of Hillsborough were top-priority issues for a coalition of consumer advocates, who said insurers in California were deliberately discriminating against poor and minority homeowner... more


Oakland Tribune - Jul 03, 2003   
Assembly committee backs bill pushed by major campaign donor
Opponents said it would violate Proposition 103\'s ban on basing rates on lack of prior insurance and would result in higher premiums for drivers who have gaps in their coverage. Often those drivers are among the poorest in the state, they said.... more


The American Prospect - Jul 01, 2003   
Insurance Impunity
Harvey Rosenfield, president of the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, says when he originally read the Utah court\'s opinion, he thought State Farm would lose its license to practice in several states.... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Jun 30, 2003   
Insurance companies decry effort to reassess homeowner risk
Insurers are challenging Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi\'s efforts to limit the industry use of electronic claims data in underwriting homeowners\' policies.... more


BestWire - Jun 10, 2003   
CONSUMER, ACTIVIST GROUPS PETITION CALIF. REGULATOR ON ZIP CODE RATING
Consumer groups and several city attorneys have petitioned California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi to strike down a 7-year-old rule dictating how much weight auto insurers may give to a driver\'s ZIP code in their rate-setting and underwriting.... more


BestWire - Jun 02, 2003   
CONSUMER, ACTIVIST GROUPS PETITION CALIF. REGULATOR ON ZIP CODE RATING
Consumer groups and several city attorneys have petitioned California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi to strike down a 7-year-old rule dictating how much weight auto insurers may give to a driver\'s ZIP code in their rate-setting and underwriting.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - May 30, 2003   
Car insurance rates hit;
City attorneys say geography is determining costs
People in cities generally pay more for auto insurance than those in rural areas; people in poor neighborhoods usually pay more than those in wealthy enclaves. ... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - May 30, 2003   
New Rate Battle
Car insurers' reliance on ZIP codes comes under fire
Consumer advocates on Thursday called on the state to enforce a 1988 law meant to change the way automobile insurance rates are calculated, claiming state insurers continue to charge excess fees based on auto owners' ZIP codes.... more


San Jose Mercury News (California) - May 30, 2003   
Rules setting car-insurance rates to be revisited;
GARAMENDI TO EXAMINE ZIP CODE ISSUE
Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi said Thursday that he would investigate claims by consumer groups and city attorneys that automobile-insurance companies in California are giving too much weight to drivers\' ZIP codes when setting rates.... more


The Los Angeles Times - May 30, 2003   
Cuts to Car Insurance Rates in Poor Areas Urged
City attorneys and consumer groups ask the state for relief. Garamendi vows action.
Nearly 15 years after the passage of the insurance reform initiative Proposition 103, the groups said that the measure\'s intent to base car insurance pricing more on individual drivers\' safety records than their ZIP Codes has not been enforced. ... more


Sacramento Bee - May 29, 2003   
Activists call for Calif. car insurance based on driving record
Fifteen years after California voters approved a ballot measure prohibiting auto insurance rates from being based on ZIP codes, a coalition of community groups filed a petition Thursday calling on state officials to finally make the law a reality.... more


North County Times (San Diego, CA) - May 25, 2003   
Woman caught in 'use it and lose it' insurance issue
"What you've got here is sort of the heart of the big insurance fraud that Americans have been seeing over the past two years," said Doug Heller of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights in Los Angeles.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 25, 2003   
State bill would ban credit scoring to set premiums
California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi has cracked down on the use of credit scoring by one insurance company that writes homeowner policies in the state.... more


Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee) - May 18, 2003   
Storm insurance claims could threaten coverage
"In this moment, consumers must be protected and must be allowed to use their insurance policy without fear of losing it," said Doug Heller, a senior consumer advocate at the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Associated Press - May 18, 2003   
Too many claims may cause insurance cancellation
Doug Heller, with the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a Santa Monica, California-based advocacy group, said a central insurance database codes inquiries as damage claims.... more


San Jose Mercury News - May 16, 2003   
Insurance limit advances;
MEASURE BANS HOME POLICY BASED ON CREDIT HISTORY
Consumer advocates supported the bill, arguing that insurers should not be able to tie homeowners' financial histories to their insurance risk. They said using credit reports to help write policies is especially harmful to poor and minority homeowners... more


Los Angeles Times - May 09, 2003   
Cashing In at the Capitol
In fact, now Sacramento insiders say lawmakers seem to base their votes more than ever on political factors and the sources of campaign funds.... more


Oakland Tribune - May 08, 2003   
Panel OKs Perata's insurance legislation
Bill would give discount to drivers who have continuous auto coverage
Despite an outcry from consumer groups, an East Bay senator won initial approval Wednesday of a resurrected, industry-backed auto insurance measure that critics say would hurt the poor more than it helps good drivers.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 08, 2003   
Insurer Uses Its Muscle on 2 Bills;
Measures opposed by activists and regulators advance. Firm has been a big campaign donor.
A Los Angeles insurance company that has contributed millions of dollars to California politicians over the years is trying to use its influence with lawmakers to overturn regulatory and court decisions that threaten its financial interests.... more


Associated Press State & Local Wire - May 07, 2003   
Bill backed by major donor overcomes commissioner's opposition
A Senate committee Wednesday approved auto insurance rate legislation backed by a major campaign contributor - despite claims the bill would violate voter-approved Proposition 103 and hurt the poor.... more


Sacramento Bee - May 07, 2003   
Auto insurance bill on bumpy road to Senate
Critics of the Mercury Insurance-sponsored bill say the measure goes against the will of the voters - expressed in Proposition 103 - and would hurt the poor more than it helps good drivers.... more


Orange County Register (California) - May 04, 2003   
CAPITOL REPORT - Bill splits lawmakers, regulators
The Legislature\'s 2002 finale featured a pitched battle over an issue known as \'\'the persistency factor.\'\' If it sounds boring, it isn\'t.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 04, 2003   
On shaky ground;
Costly earthquake insurance leaves many homeowners in a quandary, facing high deductibles and no coverage for garages, pools and other structures.
Consumer groups believe current earthquake policies, with their high deductibles, limited coverage for household contents and lack of coverage for detached garages, swimming pools and other peripheral structures, offer little value to homeowners.... more


National Underwriter - Apr 21, 2003   
Consumer Groups Try To Push Big Brother Insurer Out Of Passenger Seat
"When you start installing these tracking devices in cars, you end up moving too close to a person's privacy for customers to feel satisfied. They would feel, instead, nervous or threatened by the technology," Mr. Heller said.... more


Minnesota Public Radio - Marketplace AM Report - Apr 08, 2003   
Opponents of massive punitive damage awards get a boost from US Supreme Court decision
Mr. HARVEY ROSENFIELD (FTCR): This decision today says that you cannot penalize an insurance company where it hurts them the most, in the pocketbook, for refusing to pay claims properly. And that's just going to be a license to steal.... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Mar 30, 2003   
The high stakes of an insurance claim
The object of Pfeffer's ire is State Farm Insurance. The former Rohr Industries buyer said the cost of his homeowner policy increased by 50 percent after his wife, Patricia, called the company to inquire about the extent of their homeowner coverage...... more


San Diego Union-Tribune - Mar 30, 2003   
Insured pay price if they try to collect
Rising homeowner insurance rates and the threat of policy nonrenewals have made many Californians wary of filing claims for anything short of catastrophic losses.... more


National Underwriter - Feb 24, 2003   
C.L.U.E. (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) Irks Consumer Groups
Consumer advocates complain that some insurers are using the C.L.U.E. database to aggressively non-renew or sell at high prices in the tight insurance market.... more


Los Angeles Times - Feb 15, 2003   
Agency Veils Auto Repair Dispute Data
Consumer groups expressed alarm, saying the decision will deprive the public of information about past problems.... more


Workers Comp Executive - Feb 05, 2003   
California News Brief: New CA Dept. of Insurance Brass
Gary Cohen's appointment to General Counsel to the CA Dept. of Insurance, surprised consumer activist Harvey Rosenfield's Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, which asserts that Cohen helped bail out Southern California Edison during the energy cris... more


RCR Wireless News - Feb 03, 2003   
The Good Hands People
After all, these insurance companies need to recoup massive losses incurred from heavy investments in WorldCom, Tellabs, WinStar, Enron, Tyco and the like, according to the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights.... more


Daily News of Los Angeles - Feb 02, 2003   
Southern California Homeowners Worry about Impact of Filing Insurance Claims
As insurance underwriters raise premiums and toughen renewal policies, homeowners across Southern California are scared stiff that filing just one claim with their insurance company could blackball them for years and render their home unsaleable... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Jan 27, 2003   
Garamendi appeals approval of quake deals; Up Front.
Consumer advocates and trial lawyers question whether there were only a few property owners disgruntled by how their claims were handled.... more


Insurance Day - Jan 15, 2003   
Cheap car cover for LA drivers
As of this month, more low-income Los Angeles and San Francisco residents will qualify for cheap, bare-bones automobile insurance, and on March 1 the cost will drop even more.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Jan 12, 2003   
Low-cost car insurance expands
Starting this year, more low-income San Francisco and Los Angeles residents will qualify for cheap, bare-bones auto insurance, and on March 1, the price will fall even further.... more


Houston Chronicle - Jan 07, 2003   
Op-ed: Insurance industry gambled our money and lost
Insurance on your car or home is supposed to provide some security that if something goes wrong, it can't go too wrong. Unfortunately, things have been going very wrong for too many Texas families.... more


The Daily Press - Jan 05, 2003   
PEACE OF MIND COSTS MORE;
INSURANCE PREMIUMS RISE AT RECORD RATE TO COVER HUGE PAYOUTS
Homeowners in Virginia are experiencing the steepest increases ever in insurance rates. After years of small incremental increases, the insurance industry has embarked on a new strategy to stay profitable, and that means insured customers are paying far... more


The Charleston Gazette - Jan 02, 2003   
State Farm Stops Selling Car Insurance in West Virginia
Their motto says, "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there," but that's no longer true for state residents looking to buy auto insurance. ... more


CBS TV Evening News (6:30 PM ET) - Jan 02, 2003   
Americans losing homeowners insurance over little-known industry program that blackballs certain homeowners
If you took out homeowners insurance to protect your home and family, you may be surprised to hear that you could use it and lose it. Correspondent Sandra Hughes in this Eye on America investigation has the story of a little-known insurance industry progr... more


Associated Press - Jan 01, 2003   
Insurer stops writing auto policies
"This is the nation's largest insurance company trying to hold the state hostage," said Doug Heller of the California-based Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, saying State Farm was threatening policy-makers to limit its liability.... more


Los Angeles Times - Dec 24, 2002   
Commentary; Insurers Flip the 'Crisis' Switch; Like energy companies, they manufacture losses.
Like last year's energy debacle in California, the insurance crisis now afflicting the nation is the product of artificial price and supply manipulation compounded by grossly inadequate regulation.... more


Tucson Citizen - Dec 17, 2002   
State of Arizona's car insurance rates up despite drop in claims
Losses in stock market may be the reason for increases
Doug Heller, a senior consumer advocate for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, suggests the state needs to have stronger control of the insurance industry.... more


Associated Press State & Local Wire - Dec 14, 2002   
New insurance commissioner faces several major problems
After an eight-year absence, Garamendi will return Jan. 6 to the job he first won in 1990 when voters picked him to be California's first elected insurance commissioner, and he's excited.... more


Reading Eagle, Pennsylvania - Dec 10, 2002   
Watchdog Group Says Premiums Rise when Insurance Companies Lose on Investments
The stock market downturn hammered people's wallets in a variety of ways, but is it zapping income in the sensitive area of higher health care costs? Predictably, insurance companies deny recouping lost investments through double-digit premium increases... more


Ventura County Star - Dec 08, 2002   
State's insurance program attracts more customers
People who cannot get property insurance on the open market are turning to a state-run, industry-financed program called Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plan.... more


Associated Press State & Local Wire - Dec 04, 2002   
Witnesses cite problems in getting, keeping homeowners insurance
State officials said they are receiving an increasing number of complaints from consumers about the cost and the difficulty of finding and keeping homeowners' coverage.... more


National Public Radio (NPR) Morning Edition - Nov 04, 2002   
Soaring Insurance Rates
Many businesses are getting a shock when they try to renew their insurance coverage. Premiums for property, liability and health insurance have risen sharply. A trade group says the average cost of business insurance has jumped by 30 percent, with some... more


Associated Press State & Local Wire - Nov 03, 2002   
Homeowner insurance rates up in California
From homeowners who file claims and face increased rates to insurance companies who have stopped issuing new policies altogether, homeowners insurance in California is hitting crisis level, according to the state Department of Insurance.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Nov 03, 2002   
Homeowners in California faced by dearth of insurance
Homeowners insurance in California is approaching a crisis level, according to the state Department of Insurance.... more


The Sacramento Bee - Nov 02, 2002   
Likely voters favor school, water bonds Democrats have hairsbreadth to hefty leads in lower-profile statewide races.
A consumer group this week accused the party of funneling insurance industry money to Mendoza, who like Garamendi had pledged not to take direct contributions from insurers. The industry gave almost $245,000 to the party, and the party gave more than $1 m... more


The Los Angeles Times - Oct 30, 2002   
Donation by GOP Heats Up Race for Insurance Chief
As the election nears, the Republican Party has dropped $1.2 million into the campaign of insurance commissioner candidate Gary Mendoza, enabling him to unleash a spate of negative commercials against his opponent, former commissioner John Garamendi.... more


Associated Press State & Local Wire - Oct 29, 2002   
California Republican party gives more to insurance candidate
The California Republican party has transferred nearly $1.2 million to Gary Mendoza's campaign for insurance commissioner - more than double the amount the party has recently given to its candidate for governor, Bill Simon. ... more


Associated Press State & Local Wire - Oct 29, 2002   
Insurance commissioner race looks familiar
This year's insurance commissioner race looks like a flashback to 1990 - with consumers fretting about higher rates and businesses fuming about the workers' compensation system, Democrat John Garamendi is promising to come to the rescue.... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Oct 28, 2002   
Insurance commissioner candidates face tough issues; Election 2002 - Getting Out The Vote; John Garamendi
Once in office in 1991, Garamendi sparred with the industry over implementation of Prop. 103, which tightened regulations, rolled back rates and ultimately forced insurers to give back $ 1.2 billion in refunds.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Oct 25, 2002   
Many in San Diego Stung by Insurance Rate Increase
For many people, construction firms, landlords and, increasingly, home buyers the sky-high rates and rapid-fire cancellations of insurance policies have already hit crisis proportions. In the past year, rates for some homeowners have jumped more than 50 p... more


Associated Press State & Local Wire - Oct 23, 2002   
Appellate court rules quake lawsuit against can go forward
A lawsuit accusing State Farm Insurance Co. of mishandling claims from the devastating 1994 Northridge earthquake may go forward, an appeals court ruled Tuesday.... more


Daily News of Los Angeles - Oct 23, 2002   
State court OKs 1994 quake suit
A lawsuit accusing State Farm Insurance Co. of mishandling claims from the devastating 1994 Northridge Earthquake may go forward, an appeals court ruled Tuesday.... more


Metropolitan News-Enterprise - Oct 23, 2002   
Suit Over Insurer's Handling of Quake Claims Not SLAPP-C.A.
An unfair competition suit charging the State Farm insurance companies with mishandling claims for property damage resulting from the Northridge earthquake should not have been stricken under the anti-SLAPP law, the Court of Appeal for this district ruled... more


Los Angeles Business Journal - Oct 21, 2002   
Longtime L.A. insurer facing pressures; Farmers Insurance
The company has seen its ratings downgraded in the face of continuing underwriting losses. It has pulled out of the huge Texas homeowners' market, where it's being sued by the state and mold claims are sky high. And it's had to fend off rumors that its... more


Sacramento Bee - Oct 21, 2002   
Wanted: Insurance Watchdog Garamendi says that he has more to accomplish in his former position.
So why does Garamendi, 57, want to return to a position he held a decade ago, state insurance commissioner, an office that has been fraught with turmoil and controversy?... more


Fort Worth Star Telegram - Oct 20, 2002   
Winds of change;
Despite high premiums, Texas home insurers continue to lose money as changes in state regulations are urged
Industry leaders, regulators, politicians and consumer groups all agree that changes in the state's insurance regulation system are virtually certain when the Texas Legislature meets next year.... more


The San Jose Mercury News - Oct 19, 2002   
Critical Decision in Insurance Department;
New Commissioner Inherits Agency in Need of Leader
The six candidates who want to run the state's insurance department face a daunting task: taking over a department that most observers agree is ill-prepared to confront the issues it must face. Among the issues: rising insurance premiums, skyrocketing wo... more


Monterey County Herald - Oct 17, 2002   
Candidates accept insurance donations
Influenced by Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush's resignation in disgrace two years ago, Democrat John Garamendi and Republican Gary Mendoza said they would not take industry money. Despite their pledge, Garamendi and Mendoza each accepted $50,000... more


The Associated Press - Oct 16, 2002   
Commissioner candidates take insurance money, despite pledges
While the leading candidates for insurance commissioner say they don't accept industry campaign contributions, campaign finance and public records show each has taken more than $50,000 from investors for insurance companies.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Oct 15, 2002   
Stock Losses Boost Premiums, Study Says;
Insurers raise rates to cover shrinking returns, consumer group says. Firms blame large claims.
Far more than they publicly admit, home and auto insurers are raising rates to cover their losses on risky corporate securities, according to a controversial study to be released today by a Santa Monica consumer watchdog group.... more


Associated Press - Oct 14, 2002   
Stock market losses contribute to higher insurance rates
The crumbling stock market is hitting people's pocketbooks in a lot of different places, including an increasingly touchy area - insurance prices.... more


Associated Press - Oct 01, 2002   
Davis vetoes bill to make changes California auto insurance
Gov. Gray Davis vetoed a bill Monday that would have allowed auto insurance companies to use consistency of coverage as a factor in determining rates and premiums.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Sep 24, 2002   
Bill OKd to Cut Cost of Contact Lenses
CA Legislation update
Gov. Gray Davis signed a bill by Sen. Martha Escutia (D-Whittier) that will expand a program offering discounted automobile insurance to low-income drivers. The bill changes the income threshold for eligibility so that tens of thousands more poor people w... more


Sacramento Bee - Sep 22, 2002   
Simon zeroes in on Davis funding
Republican Bill Simon began his campaign by attacking the Democratic governor's handling of the state's energy crisis and budget woes, but Davis' fund raising has become Simon's overarching argument against giving Davis a second term.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Sep 22, 2002   
Above the rules; How California legislators subvert the public interest-and even the expressed will of the voters
Over the years, various reforms have attempted to reduce the supremacy of leadership and restore the level of deliberation and fair play in the legislative process. These rules, however, are treated in Sacramento as if they were made to broken.... more


Associated Press - Sep 19, 2002   
Group says California auto insurance changes would hurt soldiers
U.S. soldiers returning to California from overseas or out-of-state duty would be hurt by a proposal to let auto insurers raise premiums for drivers with lapsed coverage, consumer activists said Thursday.... more


San Jose Mercury News - Sep 18, 2002   
Critics urge Davis to return check
Company Backing Bill Sends Donation
Consumer activists called Tuesday for Gov. Gray Davis to return what they denounced as a "shameless" $25,000 contribution from Mercury Insurance, made as the company is lobbying the governor to sign a measure that would help the firm\'s business.... more


Sacramento Bee - Sep 10, 2002   
Letter to the Editor
SB 688 is a bill that would reduce lawsuits and associated taxes, extending to two years the time within which a party must make a claim, rather than forcing premature lawsuits into the courts. The bill also would provide relief for Sept. 11 victims. The... more


Sacramento Bee - Sep 01, 2002   
Financial-privacy bill hits major hurdle;
But Davis gets a tougher measure on driver's licenses for immigrants.
Update on bill activity in frenzied end of legislative session, including the Low-Cost Auto Insurance Bill (SB 689)... more


San Jose Mercury News - Sep 01, 2002   
Special interests scramble for last-minute deals
With state lawmakers wrestling with vexing questions about privacy, farmworker rights and epic budget deficits, the Capitol's hallways in recent days have been clogged with an army of lobbyists, each seeking favors, making threats or pushing deals.... more


Associated Press - Aug 31, 2002   
Senate approves bill allowing discounts for switching insurers
Senators approved a bill Saturday to let insurance companies offer discounts for customers who maintain coverage, even if they switch insurers. Consumer advocates said the bill, by Sen. Don Perata, D-Oakland, will result in higher costs for previously uni... more


Contra Costa Times - Aug 30, 2002   
Assembly OKs bill sought by contributor
A consumer advocate says it prompts insurers to raise rates on the poor
A bill decried by consumer advocates as special interest legislation aimed at benefiting one generous campaign contributor passed the Assembly on Thursday night and appears likely to clear the Senate as well.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Aug 29, 2002   
Assembly Panel Revives Insurance-Discount Bill;
Capitol: The measure is backed by Mercury firm, a heavy contributor to lawmakers. Insurance chief opposes it.
Lawmakers have revived legislation that would undermine the authority of the state's insurance commissioner and benefit a company that has contributed generously to lawmakers from both parties.... more


KRON TV4 - San Francisco - Aug 27, 2002   
Is State Senator Don Perata on the Take?
Is State Senator Behind High Insurance Rates?
Consumer advocates say that Mercury Insurance of Southern California paid Senator Don Perata $25,000 in donations so he'd push its bill, SB 689 through.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Aug 07, 2002   
Donations Flow Before Key Vote
Senate: Mercury Insurance lavishes funds on panel members who will decide firm's bill.
One of California's largest automobile insurers showered a Senate committee with campaign contributions just days before it was to consider a bill the company is pushing to overturn a decision by Insurance Commissioner Harry Low.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Aug 06, 2002   
Texas Sues Farmers Group;
The state accuses the firm of charging higher premiums while reducing coverage.
The state of Texas filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit Monday against Farmers Group of Insurance Cos., alleging the Los Angeles company charged Texas policyholders higher premiums to pay for disasters in other states, improperly used credit histories to s... more


BestWire - Aug 01, 2002   
Consumer Groups Blame Premium Hikes On Regulatory Inaction
Faced with steep increases in premium rates across personal and commercial lines, a newly formed coalition of consumer and public interest groups is urging state regulators to rein in insurers from raising rates.... more


The Wall Street Journal - May 16, 2002   
Insurers' Use of Data Probed
Michigan Looks at Role of Credit Records in Rate-Setting
Insurance companies already are under fire for using information from consumers' credit records to set rates. Now some wonder whether those practices violate federal credit-reporting laws.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - May 12, 2002   
Insurers' credit scoring rankles
Although California law severely limits the use of credit scores in insurance, many companies use them to deny homeowners policies, and some use them to determine payment plans on auto insurance.... more


Associated Press - May 12, 2002   
Rising home and auto insurance rates squeeze state consumers
After several years of steady or even declining insurance costs, Californians now face rate increases that could cost them hundred of dollars a year for car and homeowners coverage.... more


Associated Press - May 09, 2002   
Rising home and auto insurance rates squeeze state consumers
After several years of steady or even declining insurance costs, Californians now face rate increases that could cost them hundred of dollars a year for car and homeowners coverage.... more


BestWire - May 06, 2002   
ALLSTATE TO RAISE HOMEOWNERS RATES IN CALIF. BY 18.5%
Allstate, the third-largest homeowners writer in the state, had originally asked to raise rates by 22.3%, but the insurance department only allowed the 18.5% increase.... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Apr 30, 2002   
QUAKE APPEAL SHUT OUT; SUPREME COURT REFUSES TO HEAR INSURER
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to a California law that entitled Northridge Earthquake victims to reopen insurance claims years later.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Apr 03, 2002   
3rd Man Accused in Insurance Dept. Scandal;
Crime: Businessman, who led a foundation created by Chuck Quackenbush, faces eight criminal charges, including theft of funds.
A businessman who as a favor to a friend joined a charitable foundation created by former Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush has been charged with eight felonies, including the theft of $18,000 in foundation funds.... more


The San Diego Union-Tribune - Mar 28, 2002   
At a premium; Insurance rates climbing -- with no end in sight
Thanks to sky-high doctor bills, terror attacks, SUV crashes, mold damage and a shaky stock market, Californians are paying higher rates these days for auto, life and homeowners insurance.... more


Insurance Chronicle - Mar 11, 2002   
Table Set In Calif. Commissioner's Race
California's first elected insurance commissioner, John Garamendi, took an important step towards returning to the office last week, beating out both a current and a former member of the State Assembly for the Democratic nomination.... more


BestWire - Mar 06, 2002   
Garamendi, Mendoza Win California Insurance Commissioner Primary
Former California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, a Democrat, will face off against Republican Gary Mendoza in a bid to reclaim his seat in this November's general election.... more


Business Insurance - Mar 04, 2002   
Eleven running for California commissioner
Voters in California\'s primary election on Tuesday will decide from among eleven candidates who will fill the role of insurance commissioner, according to the Secretary of State.... more


Modesto Bee - Mar 03, 2002   
Quackenbush Image Haunts Race for Insurance Watchdog Candidates Hone in on Issues of Honesty, Caring For Consumers
The shadow being cast on the California insurance commissioner race comes from halfway across the Pacific Ocean.... more


State Net Capitol Journal - Mar 01, 2002   
IF IT QUACKS
Political junkies in CALIFORNIA have been treated to what is known as a "Quack-O-Meter" this election season. Faxed out by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights,... more


Associated Press State & Local Wire - Mar 01, 2002   
Insurance commissioner ads trigger more sniping in fiercely contested race
As they head toward Tuesday's primary, the three major Democratic candidates for insurance commissioner are running TV ads that are triggering more sniping in one of the fiercely contested statewide races.... more


Bestwire - Feb 28, 2002   
California's Next Insurance Commissioner Faces Full Agenda
California\'s next insurance commissioner will have a full plate when he takes office in January, and that agenda will be on the minds of voters as they hit the polls March 5 to narrow the field of 11 candidates vying for the position.... more


New Times Los Angeles - Feb 28, 2002   
The Finger - Bring in the Freakin' Clowns!
When we voted to make our state insurance commissioner an elected officeholder in 1988, everybody said our troubles were over. No longer would California's consumers be at the mercy of an insurance industry suck-up.... more


The Los Angeles Times - Feb 28, 2002   
Remember Quackenbush
The modernn litmus test for candidates for state insurance commissioner is simple and basic: Do they take campaign contributions from insurance companies or not? That is a major issue in next Tuesday's Democratic primary for the job.... more


California Workers Comp Advisor - Feb 27, 2002   
Insurance Commissioner Race Draws Diverse Supporters
Tom Umberg may have Erin Brockovich on his side, but Tom Calderon has Pacific Gas & Electric Co. on his. Although both Democrats, the two insurance commissioner candidates are forging vastly different political alliances.... more


Associated Press - Feb 26, 2002   
Insurers seek to sway California's pick of industry regulator
The last time Californians entrusted oversight of the state's $86 billion insurance market to an industry-backed politician, it ended in a sordid influence-peddling scandal.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Feb 17, 2002   
STATE OFFICES; INSURANCE COMMISSIONER; Highly Charged Race in Wake of Quackenbush Debacle
While disgraced former insurance commissioner Chuck Quackenbush basks on balmy Oahu, the campaign for his former job focuses on the same fight that dogged him -- whether state regulators do enough to protect policyholders.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Feb 06, 2002   
Ex-insurance czar won't face charges
Quackenbush given free pass after scandal
Former Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush, who resigned in disgrace as the Legislature considered impeaching him, won't face criminal charges for his role in using insurance settlement funds to enhance his political profile, officials said... more


BestWire - Jan 23, 2002   
WATER DAMAGE DRIVES TWO MORE CALIF. COMPANIES TO SEEK HIGHER HOMEOWNERS RATES
Citing a growing number of water-damage claims, two more insurers in California are seeking homeowners rate increases.... more


BestWire - Jan 23, 2002   
CALDERON: INSURANCE DONATIONS WON'T AFFECT HIS JUDGMENT
California Assemblyman Tom Calderon, who has been the only candidate to accept campaign contributions from insurers in his bid for California insurance commissioner, said the donations don't affect his judgment.... more


BestWire - Jan 22, 2002   
CALIF. CONSUMER GROUP MONITORS INSURERS' CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS
Concerned about a potential conflict of interest, a California consumer group is monitoring insurers' campaign contributions to candidates for insurance commissioner.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 21, 2002   
Insurance Money Makes a Face: Quackenbush's
To commemorate a degree of cupidity rare even in politics, the name and face of discredited former state Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush have been bestowed upon the "Quack-O-Meter", a device to track the insurance industry's contributions... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Jan 16, 2002   
Firms accused of inflating premiums for formerly uninsured drivers
Three auto insurance companies have been accused of violating a state insurance reform law by allegedly overcharging some customers who were previously uninsured, according to a lawsuit filed by a consumer group.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 15, 2002   
Suit Filed Over 'Good Driver' Discount Rates
Insurance: An advocacy group claims Geico, the Auto Club and Safeco overcharge those without prior coverage.
A consumer advocate group has sued three auto insurers, alleging the companies violated California's Proposition 103 by overcharging new customers who lacked prior insurance coverage.... more


Sacramento Bee - Jan 15, 2002   
Voters will have another chance to fill scandal-tinged position
California voters were assured in 1988 that if they made the state insurance commissioner's office an elective one, rather than an arm of the governor's administration, they would be making the regulator a servant of the people, rather than a toady... more


BestWire - Jan 10, 2002   
CONSUMER GROUP ASKS CALIF. TO DELAY HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE RATE HIKES
While the three biggest homeowner insurers in California raise rates, a consumer group is asking the California Department of Insurance to put a moratorium on rate increases.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 09, 2002   
Farmers Insurance Seeks Another State Rate Hike
Financial services: Firm says aging housing stock justifies fifth increase in California homeowners' premiums in two years. Consumer advocates express outrage.
Farmers Insurance Group of Cos. has applied for a premium increase of 6.9% for homeowner insurance--its fifth rate hike request in California in two years and one that has sparked outrage from consumer advocates.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 09, 2002   
State Blocks Effort to Curtail Terror Coverage
Proposal to restrict homeowners' claims--an about-face by firms--is arbitrary, commissioner says.
State regulators Tuesday blocked a move by insurers to limit terrorism coverage for California homeowners, slowing the industry's push to curtail such coverage nationwide.... more


Orange County Register - Jan 01, 2002   
Allstate seeks homeowners hike
A 22.3% raise, the firm's first since 1994, is considered by regulators.
More than 50,000 Orange County customers of Allstate Insurance will see the premiums they pay for homeowners insurance jump 22.3 percent next year if state regulators approve the insurer's request for a rate hike.... more


Los Angeles Times - Nov 30, 2001   
Stop Allowing Insurance Rate Hikes, State Urged
A consumer group asked state Insurance Commissioner Harry Low to stop approving insurance rate hikes, saying a moratorium is needed to prevent insurers from taking advantage of market turmoil in the wake of Sept. 11.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Nov 23, 2001   
A watchdog, not lapdog
SF Chronicle Editorial
What will it take to restore respect to the scandal-tainted office of state insurance commissioner? One starting point would be curbing industry contributions that threaten to skew the race for a new insurance watchdog. ... more


The Daily News of Los Angeles - Nov 19, 2001   
INSURE FOR LESS
SMART SHOPPERS CAN GET BREAKS ON AUTO POLICIES, EVEN AS RATES RISE
With auto insurance companies in the midst of a rate increase binge, drivers renewing coverage or buying it for the first time can save some money by implementing a simple strategy: Shop around.... more


The Associated Press - Nov 18, 2001   
Insurance commissioner candidate drawing big donations from industry
Assemblyman Tom Calderon says he will be a consumer advocate if elected insurance commissioner, but that hasn't stopped the insurance industry from giving him $800,000 in campaign contributions.... more


Los Angeles Times - Aug 08, 2001   
AAA Cleared in Hawaiian Tour Deal
State attorney general's office says Auto Club did not break any laws by keeping Pleasant Holidays purchase secret.
The Auto Club of Southern California does not appear to have broken the law by keeping secret its ownership of the nation's leading Hawaiian tour packager, the state attorney general's office said Tuesday.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 28, 2001   
AAA Won't Disclose Its Future Purchases
Auto Club cites competitive pressures. Group says it paid
     The Automobile Club of Southern California and its insurance affiliate paid $100 million to acquire the nation's leading Hawaii tour packager, and the Auto Club said it might buy other providers of club services in the future.... more


Washington Post - Jun 07, 2001   
Group Praises Calif. Car Insurance System
Consumer Federation Credits Proposition Passed in 1988; Insurers Disagree
Proposition 103, the 1988 California voter initiative that insurers said would be ruinous for them, has created the best-working auto insurance market in the nation... more


Los Angeles Daily News - Jun 07, 2001   
Cost of Auto Insurance Declines in California, Survey Shows
While Californians are paying dearly for gasoline, the cost of car insurance has shown a long-term decline while rates have soared in most of the nation, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Consumer Federation of America.... more


FTCR - May 30, 2001   
Observan sucesión de Quackenbush
Organizaciones por los derechos de los consumidores celebran salida del ex titular de Seguros
Un día después de la dimisión del comisionado de Seguros, Charles Quackenbush, defensores de los consumidores declararon "día de la independencia" mientras que en la Legislatura se desarrollaron pláticas sobre cómo prevenir abusos en el Departamento... more


Los Angeles Times - May 01, 2001   
Auto Insurance Seen Returning to Era of Annual Rate Increases
Major insurers, looking to increase profits and citing higher claim costs, seek to raise fees, executive says.
Californians are heading into a period of annual auto insurance increases as savings from liability reform and improvements in auto safety come to an end, a top industry executive told Wall Street analysts Monday.... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 17, 2001   
HOME INSURERS SEEK 6.9% HIKE IN CALIF. PREMIUMS
California homeowners may be hit with higher insurance rates after two companies--including one of the state\'s largest insurers--requested premium hikes averaging 6.9% for their property policies.... more


The Associated Press - Mar 29, 2001   
Auto insurers may use customer's address to calculate premiums
In a major victory for the insurance industry, the California Supreme Court declined Wednesday to review a lower court's ruling that auto insurers can calculate the bulk of premiums based on where a customer lives.... more


The San Francisco Chronicle - Mar 29, 2001   
Consumer Activist Blasts Car Insurance Rates Ruling
State high court thwarted will of people, he says
A California Supreme Court decision permitting the auto insurance industry to continue setting rates based on a driver\'s ZIP code rather than his driving record is a triumph of politics and power over the rule of law... more


BestWire - Mar 29, 2001   
CALIFORNIA COURT ALLOWS INSURERS TO BASE AUTO RATES ON ZIP CODES
Insurers will be able to continue considering a driver\'s location when setting premium rates, after the California Supreme Court refused to consider a challenge to the law.... more


BestWire - Mar 22, 2001   
CALIFORNIA INSURERS FIGHT FOR USE OF ZIP CODES AS UNDERWRITING CRITERIA
Insurance companies have asked the California Supreme Court not to review the use of ZIP codes in underwriting auto insurance policies.... more


Los Angeles Daily Journal - Mar 16, 2001   
Cash and Carry
A Court Decision Eviscerates Proposition 103, Reversing the Result of the Ballot Box
Pending before the California Supreme Court is the urgent plea of the state's consumers to resolve a matter the court first addressed 14 years ago. At issue is the insurance industry's pernicious practice of "territorial rating"... more


Sacramento Bee - Mar 14, 2001   
Lawmakers ask high court to review auto insurance differences
Several lawmakers urged the California Supreme Court on Tuesday to review a state insurance regulation that allows good drivers to be charged differently depending where they live.... more


The Recorder - Mar 14, 2001   
Court Urged to Take On Redlining
In rare move, legislators call on Supreme Court to review insurance case
A group of lawmakers Tuesday took the rare step of calling on the California Supreme Court to review whether insurance companies can base auto insurance rates on where their customers live.... more


Long Beach Press Telegram - Mar 14, 2001   
Rates tied to ZIPs blasted
SACRAMENTO - It\'s not fair that an East Long Beach resident should pay less for auto insurance than a comparable driver one mile to the west, said consumer advocates and lawmakers who called on the state Supreme Court on Tuesday to stop insurers from bas... more


The Recorder - Mar 14, 2001   
COURT URGED TO TAKE ON REDLINING
A group of lawmakers Tuesday took the rare step of calling on the California Supreme Court to review whether insurance companies can base auto insurance rates on where their customers live.... more


San Jose Mercury News - Mar 12, 2001   
Good driver/bad driver
Insurance rates should be based on record and experience, not ZIP code -- San Jose Mercury News Editorial
MORE than 12 years ago, California voters decided they wanted auto insurance rates to be based on individuals\' driving records instead of their addresses. It hasn\'t happened yet.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Mar 08, 2001   
Make Insurance Rates The Same for Rich, Poor
San Francisco Chronicle Editorial
IT\'S WRONG to charge poor people more for the same goods and services that affluent folks get for less. The inequity is especially odious when those paying the most are really subsidizing the bad habits of those who ought -- and certainly have the means... more


The Associated Press - Mar 07, 2001   
Insurance commissioner draws criticism from consumer groups
Insurance Commissioner Harry Low said Wednesday he\'s working hard to restore public trust in his department after a scandal forced the resignation of former Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Mar 02, 2001   
State Insurance Chief Defends Criteria for Auto Policies
He asks court not to hear case challenging rules using zip codes to help set rates
Siding with his GOP predecessor, Insurance Commissioner Harry Low defended regulations that consumer groups say unfairly make a driver\'s home address a bigger factor in setting insurance rates than driving record.... more


CNBC News - Mar 01, 2001   
HOW THE WASHINGTON EARTHQUAKE WILL AFFECT INSURANCE COMPANIES AND INVESTORS
Aftershocks do continue to rumble underneath the Pacific Northwest as officials add up the cost of yesterday\'s earthquake. Insurance companies will be paying... more


Chicago Tribune - Feb 05, 2001   
LOW-INCOME INSURANCE PROGRAM TESTED ON WEST COAST
California is experimenting with a plan to reduce the number of uninsured motorists by lowering premiums in Los Angeles and San Francisco.... more


Los Angeles Times - Feb 02, 2001   
COURT ASKED TO UPHOLD ZIP CODE-BASED RATES
Insurance Commissioner Harry Low has asked the California Supreme Court to uphold regulations that allow auto insurers to use ZIP Codes when determining rates.... more


Best’s Review - Feb 01, 2001   
Ruling: Calif. Auto Insurers Can Set Rates by Region
The 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco has reversed a 1998 trial-court ruling that said insurers shouldn't base automobile insurance premiums on where car owners live and drive.... more


Daily Journal - Jan 02, 2001   
CIVIL LITIGATION
Insurance 'Redlining' Upheld by 1st DCA
Controversial state regulations allowing auto insurance companies to base premiums largely on where drivers live have won approval from a state appellate court.         A panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal unanimously concluded Friday that the 198... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 01, 2001   
INSURANCE DEPT. REVAMPING TO BETTER HANDLE COMPLAINTS
EASIER GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES AND INCREASED STAFF ARE IN PLACE, BUT QUESTION REMAINS ABOUT IMPROVED SERVICE.
After years of neglect, angry consumers are finally being heard at the state Department of Insurance.... more


The Associated Press - Dec 30, 2000   
Auto insurers may use customer's address to calculate premiums
A state appeals court ruled late Friday that auto insurers can calculate premiums based on where a customer lives, setting the stage for a potential California Supreme Court showdown.... more


Sacramento Bee - Dec 30, 2000   
ZIP code OK in figuring insurance rate, court says
Auto insurers can heavily weigh where a person lives in setting their insurance rates, a state appellate court said Friday in a decision that could mean differences of hundreds of dollars in yearly premiums.... more


Los Angeles Times - Dec 30, 2000   
COURT SAYS INSURERS CAN USE ZIP CODES TO SET AUTO RATES
RULING SAYS WHERE A MOTORIST LIVES, NOT DRIVING RECORD, IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN GAUGING RISK OF LOSS.
A state appeal court Friday upheld the right of insurers to use ZIP Codes to set auto insurance rates in California--dealing a setback to consumer advocates' hopes of lowering rates for urban motorists.... more


The Associated Press - Nov 30, 2000   
Few taking advantage of new low-cost auto insurance program
Five months after California launched its landmark program to provide auto insurance to low-income drivers, hardly anyone is taking advantage of it - and state officials want to know why.... more


The Associated Press - Nov 29, 2000   
State Supreme Court declines to consider Northridge claims suit
The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to consider the insurance industry's challenge to a new state law that gives thousands of Northridge earthquake victims a year to refile their claims.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Nov 29, 2000   
State Farm Offers Big Discounts for Vans, SUVs
State Farm, the nation's biggest automobile insurer, unveiled a new pricing policy yesterday that offers hefty discounts to drivers of sport utility vehicles, vans and luxury cars. The company maintains that those vehicles are the safest for their occupa... more


Los Angeles Times - Nov 29, 2000   
STATE FARM PLAN GIVES RATE BREAK TO BIG VEHICLES
State Farm Insurance Cos., the largest auto insurer in California and the nation, unveiled a controversial plan Tuesday to lower insurance premiums for drivers of some of the biggest vehicles on the road while boosting rates for smaller, cheaper cars.... more


The Associated Press State & Local Wire - Nov 22, 2000   
Insurers ask Supreme Court to block refiling of Northridge claims
Insurers asked the state Supreme Court Wednesday to block a new law that allows thousands of victims of the 1994 Northridge earthquake to refile their claims for one year beginning Jan. 1.... more


Los Angeles Times - Nov 21, 2000   
State Seeks Dismissal of Insurance Settlements
Arguing that former state Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush acted illegally, California Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer asked the courts Monday to throw out agreements that allowed insurance companies to donate to foundations rather than face fines... more


Sacramento Bee - Nov 21, 2000   
Quake insurers taken to court
State wants to void Quackenbush deals
In a move that could have implications for Northridge earthquake victims, California officials went to court Monday to void disputed insurance company settlements brokered during disgraced former state Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush's tenure.... more


Associated Press - Oct 26, 2000   
Overhaul urged for California Earthquake Authority
A member of the California Earthquake Authority's ruling board demanded Thursday that the agency be overhauled, contending the complex financial structure that sustains the CEA could fail in the event of a catastrophe.... more


Associated Press - Sep 19, 2000   
Low sworn in as state insurance commissioner
Insurance Commissioner Harry Low took the oath of office Monday, promising to restore public trust in the position his predecessor left under threat of impeachment.... more


Associated Press - Sep 13, 2000   
State is letting car insurers flout law, group says
Consumer advocates told an appeals court yesterday that the state is giving its blessing to insurance companies that violate a voter-approved measure to reduce auto insurance rates.... more


Los Angeles Times - Sep 01, 2000   
Reform Proposal Would Publicize Insurer Data
  SACRAMENTO--In a reform linked to the California insurance commissioner scandal, confidential state studies of how insurance companies handle policyholder claims would become public under a last-minute bill that passed the Legislature Thursday and went... more


Los Angeles Times - Aug 25, 2000   
POST-QUACKENBUSH REFORM BILL GAINS; REFORM: A COMMITTEE APPROVES CURBS ON POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS BY INSURERS.
A CONTENTIOUS VOTE IS EXPECTED WHEN THE MEASURE REACHES THE FULL ASSEMBLY.
A bill to clean up the scandal-ridden office of the California insurance commissioner by restricting campaign contributions from insurance companies cleared a key legislative committee Thursday, ensuring a crucial and probably contentious vote before the... more


San Jose Mercury News - Aug 23, 2000   
California Panel Supports Candidate for State Insurance Commissioner
SACRAMENTO, Calif.--The state Legislature took its first step Tuesday toward installing a new leader at the troubled Department of Insurance by supporting the nomination of retired appeals court Judge Harry W. Low to replace Charles Quackenbush as insuran... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Aug 23, 2000   
Insurance Nominee Pledges Neutrality;
Some question his ability to be an advocate
Retired Justice Harry Low sailed through his first confirmation hearing to become insurance commissioner yesterday, but the San Francisco native offered few details on how he would approach critical insurance issues.... more


Associated Press - Aug 22, 2000   
Commissioner's Appointee Sails Through Confirmation Hearing
Insurance commissioner appointee Harry Low, winning backing from key lawmakers Tuesday, promised to avoid the ``innovative'' use of insurer settlements that led to his precedessor's downfall.... more


Associated Press - Aug 21, 2000   
Legislative report: Quackenbush `broke faith with the public'
Then-Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush improperly used his office to further his political ambitions and help his friends financially, then tried to cover it up, legislative investigators said Monday... more


Associated Press - Aug 18, 2000   
Assembly panel approves campaign contribution limits to insurance commissioner
Inspired by the scandal that engulfed former Insurance Commissioner Charles Quackenbush, an Assembly committee Friday approved drastically limiting campaign donations from the $80 billion insurance industry to the commissioner.... more


Sacramento Bee - Aug 07, 2000   
Full slate at Capitol as recess concludes: Bills seek to mop up after Quackenbush
At least five of the proposals are directly inspired by the scandal that has enveloped former state Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush, and at least two more are expected to be introduced today.... more


Associated Press - Aug 06, 2000   
Hundreds of bills, dozens of fund-raisers set for end of session
The scandal surrounding former Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush has increased the likelihood that lawmakers will impose new consumer-friendly controls on the Insurance Department and future commissioners... more


San Jose Mercury News - Aug 01, 2000   
Retired judge nominated to lead insurance office
In a bid to restore faith in a scandal-ridden department, Gov. Gray Davis on Monday nominated a low-key former state appeals court judge from San Francisco to replace Insurance Commissioner Charles Quackenbush, who resigned in disgrace three weeks ago.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Aug 01, 2000   
Insurance Post Goes to S.F. Ex-Judge
Davis names Harry Low to succeed Quackenbush


San Francisco Chronicle - Aug 01, 2000   
Insurance Post Goes to S.F. Ex-Judge
Davis names Harry Low to succeed Quackenbush


Associated Press - Jul 31, 2000   
Davis names retired Judge Harry Low to succeed Quackenbush
Gov. Gray Davis on Monday nominated retired Judge Harry W. Low as California's new insurance commissioner, promising that Low's ``unquestioned integrity and absolute independence'' would restore confidence in a scandal-stained department.... more


Santa Monica Mirror - Jul 23, 2000   
The "QuackQuake" is Over, Now the Clean-Up Must Begin
Opinion Editorial
Over six years after the Northridge quake first traumatized L.A., and five, and a half years under Insurance Commissioner Quackenbush, the shaking finally stopped on June 28 when Quackenbush resigned his post as Commissioner.... more


Associated Press - Jul 19, 2000   
Agents balk at promoting state's low-income car insurance program
The state's showcase program to provide low-cost car insurance to poor people is coming under fire from agents who say the policies are too much trouble to write and pay them too little.... more


BestDay News - Jul 11, 2000   
Consumer Group Wants Northridge Settlements Tossed Out
Settlements made between former California Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush and insurers accused of mishandling Northridge earthquake claims should be thrown out, a consumer group says.... more


Sacramento Bee - Jul 07, 2000   
Ex-aide: Quackenbush knew all -- Grays will testify to investigators, lawyer says
Former Deputy Insurance Commissioner George Grays will tell federal and state investigators that Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush personally quarterbacked efforts to collect money for political advertising from insurance company settlements, his l... more


Sacramento Bee - Jul 06, 2000   
State calls on McGeorge prof
Interim insurance chief vows restored trust
In a move intended to douse lingering whiffs of scandal at the Department of Insurance, state leaders acted Wednesday to name a well-known law professor at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, J. Clark Kelso, to temporarily replace Insurance Commissioner... more


Los Angeles Times - Jul 01, 2000   
New Program Offers Car Insurance For Low-Income Drivers
In a move to provide affordable auto insurance, state Sen. Martha Escutia (D-Montebello) and consumer advocates announced Friday a trial low-cost insurance program for the working poor of Los Angeles County.... more


CNN -- The World Today - Jun 30, 2000   
California Offers Low-Cost Auto Insurance to Poor Motorists
While you're on the crowded highways this weekend, you might stop to consider whether the drivers around you have insurance. California has one of the highest estimates of uninsured drivers, 26 percent. It's trying something different to solve that proble... more


Associated Press - Jun 30, 2000   
Low-income car insurance program tested on West Coast
A plan to reduce the number of uninsured motorists by lowering premiums in Los Angeles and San Francisco begins Saturday with civic leaders across the nation watching to see if it could work elsewhere.... more


La Opinion - Jun 30, 2000   
Observan sucesión de Quackenbush
Organizaciones por los derechos de los consumidores celebran salida del ex titular de Seguros y advierten sobre las características de quien continúe al frente del despacho hasta el 2002... more


La Opinión - Jun 29, 2000   
Renuncia el comisionado de Seguros
Quackenbush se salva del juicio político, pero continúa la investigación criminal
El comisionado de Seguros, Chuck Quackenbush, renunció este miércoles a su puesto, tres meses después de haber estallado el mayor escándalo político del gobierno estatal en los últimos años.... more


Sacramento Bee - Jun 26, 2000   
Public information: Why are legislators helping hide the truth?
Bee Editorial
At the same time legislators express justifiable outrage over the troubling activities of Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush, they've taken action to make future misconduct by public agencies and insurance companies hard to uncover.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 26, 2000   
So Much for the 'Witch Hunt'
Times Editorial
The mystery is over. It turns out that the documents that triggered an investigation of state Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush were leaked by a veteran lawyer for the Department of Insurance, hired by one of Quackenbush's Republican predecessors.... more


Sacramento Bee - Jun 25, 2000   
Probed firms donated to Quackenbush: His department says funds didn't affect enforcement action
Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush has taken campaign contributions at least nine times from companies that were either under investigation or facing enforcement actions by his department, The Bee has found.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 24, 2000   
Insurance Lawyer Gets Immunity for Hearings
She testifies Monday -- Quackenbush aides also subpoenaed
The woman who has emerged as the key whistle blower in the investigation of Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush will be given immunity when she testifies Monday before an Assembly committee, sources told The Chronicle yesterday. ... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 23, 2000   
Whistle-Blower Emerges in Quackenbush Probe
Scandal: Staffer provided documents, saying she could no longer tolerate misconduct.
A senior lawyer for the state Department of Insurance, saying she could no longer remain silent about what she viewed as egregious wrongdoing under Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush,... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 23, 2000   
Quackenbush's Deals With Title Companies Raise Eyebrows
Still more questions popping up about Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush's self- serving use of nonprofit "consumer education'' foundations that were set up with penalty settlement funds collected from the state's title and insurance companies. ... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 21, 2000   
Judge Orders Quackenbush's Foundation to Shut Down
A Sacramento judge yesterday ordered a foundation set up by Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush to cease operations, saying continued management by the current board of directors would cause ``irreparable harm.'' ... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 21, 2000   
Quackenbush Faces New Set Of Questions
Legislators look at his links to title firms
State Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush, already in hot water for going soft on the insurance industry, is facing new questions on whether he went too easy on title and escrow companies accused of ripping off California's home buyers. ... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 16, 2000   
Low-Liability Auto Coverage Is A Good Deal--If You Don't Have Much To Lose
It would seem to be an ideal solution for cash-strapped drivers: Just as auto insurance premiums are poised to rise, the state is requiring insurance companies to offer a low-cost alternative. ... more


Sacramento Bee - Jun 16, 2000   
Lockyer: Quake-aid plan badly flawed -- Court filing alleges foundation problems
Legal documents filed Thursday by state Attorney General Bill Lockyer argue that a foundation set up by state Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush planned a "seriously flawed" and potentially "wasteful" effort to assist earthquake victims. ... more


Sacramento Bee - Jun 15, 2000   
Lawsuit seeks to make Quackenbush repay nearly $13 million in donations
Two Los Angeles residents filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking to force Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush and others to personally repay nearly $13 million they claim was misappropriated in settlements with insurance companies accused of mishandling c... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Jun 15, 2000   
Most in poll want insurance chief out
Say Quackenbush should leave office in growing scandal
A majority of Californians have concluded that embattled Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush should be impeached, according to a new poll, the first to assess the damage of a scandal that has engulfed his office.... more


Sacramento Bee - Jun 14, 2000   
The Quackenbush affair: Earthquake victims remain at heart of scandal
Bee Editorial
Something happened Monday to remind us what is at the heart of this scandal: real people, the thousands of victims of the Northridge earthquake. In a bold and controversial action, Sen. Martha Escutia released copies of preliminary Department of Insurance... more


Riverside Press-Enterprise - Jun 14, 2000   
Time to speak the 'I' word
Press-Enterprise Editorial
At this point, it would be foolhardy to predict that we've heard all we are going to hear about Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush.... more


Associated Press - Jun 13, 2000   
Senator releases confidential audits of Northridge insurers
Insurance Department auditors found patterns of stalling and lowballed settlement offers by four insurers handling Northridge earthquake-related claims, reports released Monday show.... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 13, 2000   
Reports on Quake Claims Made Public
Insurance: Confidential records released by state Senate leaders show 20th Century, State Farm and Allstate mishandled hundreds of cases.
State Senate leaders Monday released confidential state reports showing that three of the nation's largest insurance companies--20th Century, State Farm and Allstate--mishandled hundreds of claims following the Northridge earthquake.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 13, 2000   
Documents Show Insurers Botched Quake Claims
Confidential documents that Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush refused to give the Legislature show scores of cases in which insurance companies were cited for improperly handling claims from the 1994 Northridge earthquake.... more


San Francisco Examiner - Jun 12, 2000   
Secret audits rip insurance firms
Insurance companies repeatedly low-balled claims and misled victims after the Northridge earthquake, confidential audits released Monday show, but Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush allowed the companies to donate to foundations that benefited him... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Jun 10, 2000   
Resign -- Now. Quackenbush is unfit for his office
Tribune Editorial
State Insurance Commissioner Charles Quackenbush has shown himself to be unfit to continue in his post. He should resign; otherwise, he will face the growing prospect of becoming only the second statewide officeholder in California history to be impeached... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 09, 2000   
Quackenbush Exit Time
Times Editorial
The message was clear to state Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush late Thursday: Quit or face impeachment proceedings in the Legislature. Quackenbush can save California the cost and distraction of impeachment by stepping down now.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 09, 2000   
Quackenbush's Conduct Invites Impeachment
Chronicle Editorial
THE WAVE of condemning revelations of state Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush's conduct grows taller by the day. Penalty fines were steered to buff his image, checks possibly forged, and a foundation misused as a front for political advantage... more


Associated Press - Jun 09, 2000   
Checks were forged, minutes falsified, Assembly panel told
Quackenbush fund linked to possible crimes
Board members of a nonprofit fund created by Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush described possible criminal activity including falsified meeting minutes and checks that may have been forged.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 09, 2000   
Insurance Czar's Aide Under Fire
Testimony on mystery checks at Quackenbush foundation
Suggestions of criminal wrongdoing surfaced for the first time at an Assembly Insurance Committee hearing yesterday over testimony that checks may have been forged and board minutes falsified for a foundation set up by Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quacken... more


Los Angeles Times - Jun 08, 2000   
Quackenbush Critic Talks Impeachment
Investigation: Committee's first public mention of possibility comes from the commissioner's own party
The senior Republican on the state Assembly committee investigating California Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush said Wednesday that evidence "points in the direction" of impeachment of the state's chief insurance regulator.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Jun 08, 2000   
PR Firm's Funding Scheme for Quackenbush
Memo spelled out plan to polish his image
Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush's mounting troubles may stem from a public relations firm's scheme to use fines from the insurance industry to polish his political image, a memo revealed yesterday. ... more


Associated Press - Jun 02, 2000   
Quackenbush investigators issue 20 more subpoenas
Insurance officials called to testify next week; request by commissioner for access to related files was denied
Lawmakers investigating Insurance Commissioner Charles Quackenbush issued at least 20 subpoenas Thursday forcing witnesses to testify and rejected his request for records linked to the probe.... more


Associated Press - May 30, 2000   
Consumer advocate wonders why he is on Quackenbush's request for documents
A consumer advocate is wondering why Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush is asking for copies of any written communications he's had with the Legislature about Quackenbush's settlement of insurance fines.... more


Oakland Tribune - May 25, 2000   
Subpoena looms for Quackenbush
Panel rejects bill to make insurance post appointive
In a signal top legislative leaders intend to deal directly with claims of misconduct against Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush, a Senate committee Wednesday rejected a Bay Area legislator's plan to return the position to an appointed post.... more


San Francisco Examiner - May 19, 2000   
Dump Quack and the Moolah
Examiner Editorial
Reforming the office of state insurance commissioner doesn't mean turning the elected post back into an appointed one Two things are needed to restore confidence in the state's beleaguered Department of Insurance.... more


Associated Press - May 18, 2000   
Panel backs amendment for an appointed insurance chief
Responding to criticism of elected Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush, a state Senate committee has voted to make his job an appointive post.... more


Sacramento Bee - May 18, 2000   
Bill seeks voter OK for appointed insurance chief
With scandals swirling around state Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush, California moved a step closer Wednesday to changing his powerful post from an elected job to a governor's appointment.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - May 18, 2000   
Senate Panel Wants Insurance Chief Appointed, Not Elected
Over the objection of some consumer groups, a plan to return the position of state insurance commissioner to an appointed post was unanimously approved yesterday by a state Senate committee. ... more


Los Angeles Times - May 15, 2000   
QUACKENBUSH'S QUAGMIRE
Times Editorial
Amid still more evidence of dereliction, it's clearer that the state insurance commissioner has but one reasonable choice: resignation.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 07, 2000   
Resign, Mr. Quackenbush
Los Angeles Times Editorial
State Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush still insists that he had the consumer's interests at heart. How could that be, when he cut a deal that let insurance companies "donate" $12.8 million to private foundations he established rather than pay fin... more


Sacramento Bee - May 02, 2000   
Bill seeks to seize Quackenbush fund for quake victims
Two state legislators want to seize $6 million from a nonprofit foundation Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush created through insurance settlements and give the money to victims of the 1994 Northridge earthquake.... more


Associated Press - May 02, 2000   
Freeze proposed on fund created by Quackenbush
Lawmaker wants Northridge quake victims to benefit
A lawmaker wants to freeze $6 million in a fund created by state Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush. The legislator said he wants to make sure the money reaches Northridge earthquake victims.... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 27, 2000   
AIDES ISSUE 25-PAGE DEFENSE OF QUACKENBUSH'S ACTIONS;
INSURANCE: DOCUMENT ACCUSES DEMOCRATS OF HYPOCRISY. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL CRITICIZESCOMMISSIONER.
As the California Assembly prepared for its first public hearing today probing state Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush's activities, his political aides issued a 25-page defense of the commissioner's handling of Northridge earthquake penalties.... more


Los Angeles Daily Journal - Apr 24, 2000   
Insurance Companies Should Not Compromise Impartiality of Judicial Process to Save Money
Opinion Editorial by Pam Pressley, FTCR
Our civil justice system has come under attack on many fronts—from the usurpation of our right to a trial by jury by banks, insurance companies and HMOs that foist mandatory arbitration upon us to the corporate financing of judges' campaigns that stack th... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 22, 2000   
Quackenbush Overstepped, Counsel Says
Government: Lawyers For Legislature Say The Commissioner Lacked Authority To Have Insurers Fund Foundations Instead Of Paying Fines After Northridge Quake
Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush did not have legal authority to compel insurance companies to give money to nonprofit foundations instead of paying fines or other penalties in the wake of the Northridge earthquake, lawyers for the California Legi... more


Associated Press - Apr 10, 2000   
Controversial fund's creation included pressure on insurers
Accused of mishandling Northridge earthquake claims, executives from a half-dozen insurance companies were summoned to the Insurance Department's headquarters, ushered into an office one-by-one and offered a choice.... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 10, 2000   
EARTHQUAKE FOUNDATION'S GIFT SCRUTINIZED
A nonprofit foundation that state Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush created with insurance company contributions for earthquake research gave $ 500,000 to the Greater Sacramento Urban League after he joined the organization's board of directors.... more


Associated Press - Apr 08, 2000   
Controversial fund's creation included pressure on insurers
Accused of mishandling Northridge earthquake claims, executives from a half-dozen insurance companies were summoned to the Insurance Department's headquarters, ushered into an office one-by-one and offered a choice.... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 07, 2000   
Quackenbush Let Insurer Avoid State Investigation
Commissioner allowed fireman's fund to donate to foundation instead of facing formal review of northridge quake claims. The firm contributed to his campaign the next day.... more


Reuters - Apr 03, 2000   
Calif. group seeks probe of insurance commissioner
A consumer group on Monday asked the state's attorney general to probe California Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush over a deal he made with three insurance firms to avoid stiff fines over their alleged underpaying of earthquake claims.... more


Los Angeles Times - Apr 02, 2000   
Quackenbush Rejected Steep Fines For Insurers
Department Staff Called For Penalties For Mishandling Of Northridge Quake Claims.
Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush rejected recommendations from his own legal team that some of the biggest insurance companies in the state be fined hundreds of millions of dollars for mishandling claims in the aftermath of the devastating Northri... more


Detroit News - Mar 30, 2000   
Health problems linked to mold
Metro Detroit faces growing threat
Consumer advocates say insurance companies are reluctant to pay mold damage claims because scientific proof of cause-and-effect eludes researchers.... more


Sacramento Bee - Mar 29, 2000   
Home cooking: Quackenbush's money transfer to wife merits probe
Bee Editorial
Campaign funds from companies Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush regulates were used to pay off his wife's personal loans to her own failed state Senate campaign.... more


Wall Street Journal - Mar 29, 2000   
Sen. Hayden Appears Set to Propose Nonprofit State Insurance Watchdog
Legislation expected to be introduced this week would create a new statewide organization to represent consumers of auto, home and health insurance before industry and government regulators.... more


Los Angeles Times - Mar 28, 2000   
Reports On Insurers Demanded
Lawmakers demanded Monday that Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush appear at an April 26 hearing and produce confidential reports his office prepared on the handling of Northridge earthquake claims by six major insurance companies.... more


Los Angeles Times - Mar 28, 2000   
Funny About This Money
L.A. Times Editorial
Voters approved Proposition 103, the 1988 insurance reform initiative, in part to break up a cozy relationship between the insurance industry and the state's appointed insurance commissioner. Beginning in 1990, the job was made an elected position. But th... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Mar 28, 2000   
Odorous contributions: Commissioner collects from insurance companies
Union Tribune Editorial
State Insurance Commissioner Charles Quackenbush is the poster boy for campaign finance reform in California. Six years ago, as a Republican candidate, Quackenbush declared that accepting campaign money from insurance companies would be "like taking slow... more


Los Angeles Times - Mar 26, 2000   
Donations to Quackenbush Paid Wife's Campaign Debts
Finance: Funds came from insurers with business before commissioner. The actions are legal, but some decry them
Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush collected tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions from insurance companies with business before him and used it to repay his wife for personal loans she made to her failed state Senate campaign.... more


Associated Press - Mar 26, 2000   
Critics question gifts to official
Firms pay $245,000 to state insurance chief
Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush collected tens of thousands of dollars in contributions from insurance companies and used it to repay his wife's loans in her failed state Senate campaign, the Los Angeles Times reported in today's editions.... more


Associated Press - Mar 06, 2000   
Backers upset over state department's proposed rules for low-income plan
The experimental low-cost auto insurance program due to debut this summer in two counties is running into problems. Lawmakers and a consumer group backing the plan are upset over the first set of rules proposed by the state Insurance Department to run the... more


San Diego - Feb 20, 2000   
Fraud Finders
Insurance companies and law enforcement agencies chase down people who file bogus claims
Douglas Heller, an advocate with FTCR, says insurers also use the hype surrounding fraud cases to "deny, delay and lowball legitimate claims from honest customers. That' s the way fraud damages consumers."... more


Oakland Tribune - Feb 14, 2000   
Consumers Need Propositions 30 and 31
Tribune Editorial
WHEN a special-interest group spends $50 million -- and counting -- to put a proposition on the ballot and get Californians to cast votes against it, you have to be little leery.... more


The Daily Commerce - Feb 10, 2000   
Those Sneaky Devils


San Francisco Bay Guardian - Feb 09, 2000   
Claim Check
The big insurance companies put Proposition 30 on the ballot – so they could fight it.
WHEN ROSEMARY SHAHAN was nine years old, her mother was severely injured in a car accident. The other driver was responsible – but his insurance company took 10 years to pay the Shahans' $30,000 medical bills.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Feb 07, 2000   
Vote for Fair Play -- Yes on Props. 30 and 31
SF Chronicle Editorial
In one of the most cynical manipulations of the initiative process to date, the special interests who put Propositions 30 and 31 on the ballot want to defeat them.... more


San Francisco Examiner - Feb 06, 2000   
Consumers Need Props. 30 and 31
SF Examiner Editorial
Californians should give themselves the right to sue automobile insurance companies that unfairly delay or refuse to pay on legitimate claims when their policy-holders are at fault. Voters must protect their own interests by approving Propositions 30 and... more


San Jose Mercury News - Feb 02, 2000   
Disorder in the courts?
The opinion of the Mercury News
Vote yes on 30 and 31 to make sure insurance companies are accountable... more


Sacramento Bee - Feb 01, 2000   
Yes on Props. 30 and 31: Fair incentives for insurers to do the right thing
Sacramento Bee Editorial
Voters, beware: Propositions 30 and 31 on the March ballot are trick questions. Insurance companies have already spent millions of dollars to qualify the two measures for the ballot and will spend millions more trying to persuade voters to vote No. The pu... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Dec 30, 1999   
MADD shocks activists with insurer alliance
Advocates of two propositions intended to boost the clout of accident victims in dealing with recalcitrant insurance companies fully expected the support of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.... more


Los Angeles Times - Dec 05, 1999   
State Farm Suit Seeks Return of Data Critics Say Indicate Redlining
State Farm Insurance is suing the state and a former Texas insurance commissioner for the return of information it claims is proprietary but which critics say confirms a long-standing contention that the company underserves poor communities across Los Ang... more


Associated Press - Dec 04, 1999   
State Farm Sues Over Release of Documents Suggesting Alleged Redlining
State Farm is suing the state and a former Texas insurance commissioner, demanding he return proprietary information the company says was inadvertently released by California insurance regulators.... more


Net Capitol Journal - Nov 15, 1999   
Referendum Drive To Submit Signatures Soon
Last year, a coalition of Indian tribes and their political consultants took the initiative business to school with a $10 million qualification campaign for Prop. 5, the gambling initiative approved by voters but tossed by the courts. This year, the stude... more


Los Angeles Times - Nov 07, 1999   
Referendum Hide-and-Seek
The special-interest sponsors of an insurance measure are playing a complicated game with the voters.
There's nothing new about special interests designing and writing a ballot measure and funding a signature-gathering campaign.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Nov 02, 1999   
Disaster Could Leave You With Less Than a Full House
Soaring Construction Costs, Vanishing Replacement Policies Leave Most Underinsured
If a fire were to level your house tomorrow, do you think your homeowners insurance would cover the full cost of rebuilding it?... more


Los Angeles Times - Oct 14, 1999   
Insurers to Launch High-Profile Effort to Void New Law
Expensive Campaign is Expected in Drive to Gather at Least 400,000 Signatures Needed to Put the Measure on the Ballot. The Law Allows Citizens to Sue Companies
Californians will soon be bombarded at malls, in parking lots and at other high-traffic spots by signature gatherers for a rush referendum to undo a new law expanding citizens' rights to sue insurance companies.... more


Sacramento Bee - Oct 13, 1999   
Right to Sue Insurance Firms Target of Referendum Drive
A coalition of insurance companies and other groups announced Tuesday that it will seek a March 2000 statewide ballot referendum to overturn newly signed legislation involving lawsuits against insurers.... more


San Diego Union Tribune - Oct 13, 1999   
Insurance Laws Face Challenge Via Ballot; Business Coalition Assails Two Bills Signed By Davis
A coalition of insurers and business groups, contending that legislation signed by Gov. Gray Davis could drive up insurance rates 15 percent, plans to spend as much as $50 million on a referendum in March asking voters to overturn the new laws.... more


San Francisco Examiner - Oct 11, 1999   
S.F. a test site for new low-cost auto insurance
Davis signs bills creating program for low-income drivers
The nation's first low-cost car insurance program will park temporarily in San Francisco and Los Angeles under a trio of bills signed into law by Gov. Davis.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Oct 09, 1999   
Insurers Lose Round In Injury Claims
New state law allows bad-faith suits
In a move praised by consumer advocates, Gov. Gray Davis signed legislation yesterday that restores the right of people injured in accidents to sue insurance companies.... more


Sacramento Bee - Oct 09, 1999   
Davis Signs Bill Allowing
Closing an unusual legislative chapter involving the year's most heavily lobbied issue, Gov. Gray Davis on Friday signed two measures giving accident victims the right to sue insurance companies for "bad faith" handling of claims.... more


Associated Press - Oct 08, 1999   
Governor signs lawyer-backed bill restoring lawsuits against insurers
Gov. Gray Davis on Friday signed the trial lawyers' prized legislation of the year - a multibillion-dollar reinstatement of an accident victim's right to sue a rival insurance company for bad faith.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Sep 10, 1999   
Plan to Offer Low-Cost Car Insurance in S.F.
In a break for low-income drivers, San Francisco will be part of a pilot program offering inexpensive auto insurance under an agreement reached by legislators this week.... more


Associated Press - Sep 03, 1999   
Plan to create low-cost auto insurance policies falters in Legislature
Withering before insurance industry opposition, an attempt to create the nation's first low-cost policy for low-income drivers has been transformed into an experimental project for two counties.... more


Associated Press - Jul 24, 1999   
Caught between Senate and governor's desk, confusion surrounds year's major bill
Even the well-heeled partisans in the fight over the year's major bill, a billion-dollar expansion of the right to file bad-faith lawsuits against insurers and others, don't have a clue about what's happening to the legislation, which was dumped into Capi... more


Los Angeles Times - Jul 09, 1999   
Assembly OKs Bill Permitting Suits Against Insurers
Consumers would have added recourse against insurance companies through a controversial measure that passed the Assembly on Thursday. The bill, SB 1237 by Sen. Martha Escutia (D-Whittier), would allow consumers to sue for bad faith when they think insurer... more


Associated Press - Jul 08, 1999   
Lawyers win round in high-stakes fight with insurers
A fiercely lobbied plan that restores the right to file bad-faith lawsuits against automobile insurers and others emerged Thursday from the Assembly, despite complaints from insurers that it would dramatically boost premiums and dismantle a state crackdow... more


Stockton Record - Jul 05, 1999   
Low Cost Auto Coverage Eyed
Plan Would Insure Poor
Leslie Brewer of Stockton didn't buy car insurance until the state put teeth in its mandatory insurance law in 1996. Now she's shelling out $39.91 a month for the minimum coverage allowed by law.... more


Associated Press - Jul 05, 1999   
Lawmakers try to cut car insurance costs for poor
The math is daunting if you're an average motorist in South-Central Los Angeles who must drive to work, like nearly everyone else in California's car-dependent culture.... more


Los Angeles Times - May 13, 1999   
Quake Insurance Squabble Splitting Along Party Lines
After months of behind-the-scenes sparring, state Treasurer Phil Angelides is forcing a showdown with Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush over control of the state agency that provides earthquake coverage to nearly 1 million California homeowners.... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Apr 22, 1999   
Firms say plan favors L.A. over Bay Area
A key Assembly committee yesterday approved a bill creating low-cost insurance programs that insurance companies said will force Bay Area motorists to subsidize Los Angeles drivers.... more


Journal of Commerce - Mar 17, 1999   
Number, Amount of Auto Claims Down in California, Bucking Trend
A new study shows that in this decade California's auto insurers decreased the number and dollar amount of claims paid to victims, bucking the national trend.... more


Associated Press - Mar 12, 1999   
Survey Suggests Discriminatory Practices in Low-Income Neighborhoods
An unprecedented state survey released Friday suggests that insurance redlining exists in California's low-income and minority neighborhoods, where fewer people obtain coverage and there are fewer agents to serve them.... more


Los Angeles Times - Mar 10, 1999   
Insurers Cut Car Claims In '90S, Study Says
Profits Reached Record Highs In The State As Settlements To Accident Victims Dropped, Group Finds; Industry Officials Defend Trend, Saying Lower Rates Resulted
During the 1990s California insurance companies steadily reduced the size and number of claims paid to automobile accident victims although their profits rose to record heights, a consumer study has found.... more


Sacramento Bee - Mar 10, 1999   
Insurers Low-Ball Victims, Group Says
A consumer group, pushing to reinstate a controversial law that would allow more lawsuits against insurance companies, charged Tuesday that the firms have low-balled settlements to some accident victims for more than a decade.... more


City News Service - Mar 09, 1999   
Insurance Study
Motorists and others injured in auto accidents have received steadily lower payments from insurance companies since a 1988 state Supreme Court decision, according to a study released today.... more


Los Angeles Times - Feb 25, 1999   
California's Car Insurance Rates Down 11.3% Since 1995
States Say its the Biggest Four-Year Decline Ever; Consumer Advocates Complain that Savings Should Be Even Greater
Auto insurance rates in California dropped 5.7% last year and are down 11.3% since 1995, the largest four-year decline ever, the state Department of Insurance said Wednesday. The announcement immediately triggered criticism from consumer advocates who con... more


San Francisco Chronicle - Feb 25, 1999   
State Auto Insurance rates Down 11.3%
Critics Question Timing of 4-Year Study's Release
Auto insurance rates have dropped an average of 11.3 percent in California during the past four years, Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush said yesterday.... more


Journal of Commerce - Feb 19, 1999   
Three Insurers Agree to Issue California Refunds
Of the three companies, Fireman's Fund, Novato, Calif., agreed to issue the largest refund to customers, $76.25 million. Surety bond specialist Insco/Dico Group, of Irvine, Calif. was next at $1.6 million. Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company, Lansin... more


Los Angeles Times - Feb 04, 1999   
Auto Insurance Reform for the Poor
All California motorists are required to carry auto insurance, but more than 3 million drive uninsured, either dropping coverage as soon as their cars are registered or driving without registration. Most are flouting the law because they can't afford to c... more


Los Angeles Times - Jan 14, 1999   
Low-cost Auto Insurance Plan Proposed
Legislature: Latino Lawmaker Urges $300-A-Year Policy For Low-Income Drivers. IndustryGroups Criticize Idea.
In a move to bring affordable auto insurance to millions of poor people, a group of Latino lawmakers wants to make California the first state to require insurers to offer a $ 300 policy to low-income drivers.... more


Sacramento Bee - Jan 14, 1999   
Legislation Would Aid Uninsured Drivers
Saying she knows first-hand about trying to survive in Los Angeles without a car, state Sen. Martha Escutia unveiled legislation Wednesday to create a low-cost, no-frills auto insurance policy with a premium of $ 300 per year.... more


City News Service - Jan 13, 1999   
Insurance Legislation
A Montebello lawmaker introduced a state bill that would provide $25-a-month auto insurance for low-income drivers.... more




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