Department of Insurance notifies Office of
Administrative Law it intends to repeal a provision in
state’s code of regulations, Section 2689.8(c)(3), that
requires agents and brokers to mail privacy policies to
customers annually. The mandatory opt-out form that, if
returned, prevents brokers/agents from shopping for better
policies from other carriers at renewal is part of repeal.
>> Governor signs surplus lines bill AB 1708 into law,
requiring total capital and surplus for non-admitted insurers
in the state to be at least $45 million, up from $14 million.
Special rules apply regarding instruments for asset holdings
and for non-admitted insurers not on the List of Eligible
Surplus Lines Insurers. >> AB 1837 was chaptered by the
secretary of state, that is, adopted as law, permitting
domestic insurers domiciled in California to perform certain
admin, claims and investment services on behalf of an
affiliated, non-admitted insurer that has qualified as an
eligible surplus lines insurer. >> Surplus Lines Assn. of
Calif. processed 15.5% less in premium for first-half 2010 than
the same time 2009. Policies filed were down 4% for the same
periods. U.S. domiciled insurers wrote 76.4% of the
state’s surplus lines premiums. Lloyd’s wrote
17.1%. >> Court of Appeals rules that surplus lines
insurers should not have to pay taxes under Section 28 of the
state’s constitution because they already pay surplus
line premium taxes. >> New law requires insurers disclose
cancellation penalties prior to or along with application for
insurance. Takes effect Jan. 1, 2012. >> Same law allows
insurance commissioner to postpone market conduct exam of an
insurer for up to three years under certain conditions. These
exams are normally required at least once every five years.
Gov. Bill Ritter raided med mal insurance fund for $2.9
million to battle the second wildfire of the summer. The state
is eligible to recoup 75% of firefighting costs from the
federal government, but some of the money was spent on
ancillary services and is excluded from reimbursement.
OKs average 10.3% hike in state-backed Citizens
homeowners insurance rate. Rising cost of sinkhole claims is
major reason for increase. The 0.3% above the statutory cap on
increases is allowed to build up reserves in the Hurricane
Catastrophe Fund. Rate changes vary by territory, so some may
see decreases, while others will go up by double digits.
>> Office of Insurance Regulation now requiring Citizens
to inspect all homes requesting sinkhole coverage. If
inspection is a fail, sinkhole will be excluded from
FEMA is delaying implementation of new flood maps in
southwestern part of state until end of 2011. It may classify
levees there as incapable of withstanding a 1%-chance
flood—a flood so big it has just a 1% chance of occurring
in a particular year. That’s the threshold for declaring
an area high-risk for flood and potentially raising flood
insurance rates. >> Study shows 2006 medical fee schedule
implementation had immediate effect. Growth in medical costs
per WC claim was 5% in 2007 compared to a 12% average increase
for the three previous years. Prices paid under fee schedule
are still among the highest in the nation; so is utilization of
Non-resident producer and agency paper renewals must be
done electronically as of Nov. 1. Renewal notices will also be
sent electronically to email addresses filed with the
Department of Insurance. Those without a valid email address
with the Department will not receive renewal notices. Updates
can be done through Sircon. Non-resident producers should have
Social Security number ready, and agencies need employer I.D.
and producer license numbers. For a change to both postal and
email address, go through National Insurance Producer
Commissioner Sharon Clark appointed as a National Assn.
of Insurance Commissioners’ representative to board of
directors of National Insurance Producer Registry.
Gets thumbs up from Institute for Business & Home
Safety for new building codes passed since Katrina and for
enforcement of the codes.
Court of Appeals, the highest in the state, upholds law
capping judgments for payouts on suffering. The law limits
non-economic damages to just over $1 million in wrongful death