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CA Department of Insurance

Protect Yourself

Information you need to know to protect yourself in any insurance transaction:

  • Check to be sure your agent is licensed to sell insurance in California.
  • Don't let your agent rush you into a decision. Take your time and understand.
  • Don't let your sales agent "fill in the blanks" later.
  • Avoid signing any contracts or agreements without reading the fine print. If you don't understand the language, don't sign until it's explained.
  • It is O.K. to ask the tough questions: Would you be willing to explain your proposal to my Attorney, Accountant, Financial Advisor or my other friend in insurance?
  • Don't be a victim by being nice. Con artists take advantage of good people like you and take advantage of your good manners. You are under no obligation to talk to them.
  • If you are uncomfortable during the transaction for the purchase of insurance for any reason…STOP….
  • Avoid paying with cash.
  • Always obtain a receipt for monies paid.
  • Get a copy of every form you sign!
  • If you have purchased insurance, you will always receive a policy.
  • A certificate of insurance always identifies the legal name of the insurance company.
  • Beware of canceling an existing life insurance policy or an annuity for a "better one".
  • If you are under 65 years of age, you get a 10-Day Free Look and if you are 65 and older, you get a 30-Day Free Look on life insurance products. Take advantage of it! Have family members or others that you trust examine it with you.
  • It is O.K. to call your insurance company and verify your policy is in force.
  • Remember, as a Consumer Protection Agency, we are here to help.
You may also search our Enforcement Actions to locate initiating and concluding pleadings and documents for enforcement actions that the Department has taken against its licensees, including insurance companies, agents and brokers.  For example, the available documents may include Accusations, Orders to Show Cause, Notices of Non-Compliance, Orders Adopting a Proposed Decision or Orders Adopting a Settlement Stipulation.

Information Guides

The information presented in the following guides is aimed at helping the consumer with the purchase of insurance, what you may need to know, and some related information.

Please note that:

  1. The information provided within these pages is for informational purposes only.
  2. The actual terms of an insurance policy and related law prevail over the information provided in these pages.
  3. In the case of a dispute, the insurance policy is controlling and a court of law will rely on the policy as it is written to resolve the dispute.
  4. The policy is the only document that describes what the insurance company will pay.
  5. The information contained on these pages does not create rights or obligations on the part of the insured, the insurer, the agent, the broker, or the state.
  6. These pages are not intended to be a substitute for the actual insurance policy.



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