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INSURERS: RATE FILING REVIEW PROCESS

The Rate Regulation Division reviews all filings for Personal lines (automobile and homeowners) and Commercial lines (business property, liability, workers' compensation, title, and surety) except life, ocean marine, health, disability, and mortgage insurance.

Various statutes require the Rate Regulation Division to review filings within certain timeframes.

Prior Approval
Proposition 103 Lines
For prior approval filings such as personal automobile rate filings or commercial package filings, the following timelines must be followed by the Rate Regulation Division. Upon receipt of a filing in the San Francisco Rate Filing Bureau, the intake unit has 14 days to determine if a filing meets basic compliance.

In order to meet basic compliance, three copies of the filing must be received, the filing must be made on the appropriate application form, and support (such as ratemaking data) must be provided to justify changes. If a filing does not meet basic compliance, it is rejected for non-compliance. When a prior approval filing has been determined to meet basic compliance, the intake unit has ten days to notify the public that the filing was received. Such notification is given in a public notice which is issued every Friday.

After a filing has been given public notice, the Rate Regulation Division has 60 days to review the filing and approve the filing or issue a notice of hearing. A public intervenor may request a hearing on any filing within 45 days after public notice is given. If an approval letter or notice of hearing has not been sent out within 60 days after public notice, the filing is deemed approved.

According to Assembly Bill 2875 which was enacted on July 1, 1993, a hearing must commence within 180 days of receipt of the filing by the San Francisco Rate Filing Bureau.

Class Plans
Personal Automobile Rating Factors Classification Plans (Class Plans) have a slightly different timeline that must be followed. The intake unit has 14 days to review a Class Plan for basic compliance and another 10 days to give public notice. But, the Rate Regulation Division has 90 days from the date the Class Plan was received by the San Francisco Rate Filing Bureau to approve the filing or send notice of hearing.

Advisory Organizations
For advisory organization manual and form filings, the intake unit has 15 days to review the filing for basic compliance. But the Rate Regulation Division has 90 days from the date the manual or form filings were received by the San Francisco Rate Filing Bureau to approve the filing or send notice of hearing.  

File and Use
Financial Guaranty and Credit
As financial guaranty and credit are considered file and use lines, different time frames apply. A company may begin to implement a file and use filing as soon as the San Francisco Rate Filing Bureau has received the filing. The intake unit gives public notice for these filings, and the Rate Regulation Division has 60 days to review a file and use filing. A notice of hearing must be issued within these 60 days if the filing is to be challenged by the Department.

Workers Compensation
Workers' compensation rate filings are considered file and use with a 30-day waiting period. The 30 day period begins the date the filing is received by the Rate Filing Bureau for Workers' Compensation in Los Angeles.

The Rate Filing Bureau for Workers' Compensation will determine whether a rate filing is complete and complies with filing requirements. The filing may be rejected if it is incomplete or the insurer fails to comply with filing requirements. In general, a complete filing will contain the correct filing application, appropriate income and expense exhibits, an actuarial opinion, all rates and rating plans (or revisions to existing rates and rating plans), and any additional information needed to determine the rates the insurer would charge its insureds.

If the rate filing needs correction of an error, or if additional information is needed for the filing to be complete, the insurer may submit the information within the 30-day period in order to keep the original filing date. If the information is submitted after the 30-day period, the rate filing will be assigned a new filing date which shall be the date the correction or additional information is received by the Rate Filing Bureau for Workers' Compensation. In this situation, an insurer may request an earlier effective date in writing from the Department.

Unless the Department notifies the insurer within 30 days of the filing date that its rate filing is incomplete, the rate filing will be considered complete.

Title
Title rate and forms filings are considered file and use. A Title filing must be received by the Department at least 30 days prior to its effective date.

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