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News: 2011 Press Release

For Release: March 10, 2011
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Jones Announces Enhancement to Low Cost Auto Application
Improvement will correctly capture same sex couples� information

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that he has filed for new regulations with the Office of Administrative Law that will add the category of "spouse" to the application form for the Low Cost Auto Insurance Program.

"The definition of marriage has changed over time in California, and it is imperative government forms reflect this change as well," Commissioner Jones said. "This change to the Low Cost Auto form will ensure that the application process is inclusive for all Californians. And I have also asked Department staff to carefully review all the forms we approve to make certain the forms treat equally same sex couples who were married in 2008, or those who may marry in the future."

The validity of same sex marriages under California law has changed over time. Currently, same sex marriages performed after 5:00 p.m. on June 16, 2008 through November 4, 2008 are recognized in California. For periods of time other than after 5:00 p.m. June 16, 2008 through November 4, 2008, California's domestic partnership law controls. The regulations will allow the gender-neutral term "spouse" to be used on the California Automobile Low Cost Application. Furthermore, the regulations will also apply to couples who may have married elsewhere and whose marriages are recognized under California law. The form had previously only allowed "husband," "wife" or "domestic partner."

A copy of the new application can be found by selecting this link.

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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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