News: 2012 Press Release
For Release: April 20, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
In Celebration Of Earth Day Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Reminds Consumers How To Go Green With Their Coverage
Pay-As-You-Drive Program Reduces Greenhouse Gases
In honor of Earth Day this Sunday, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones encourages California consumers to take advantage of auto and homeowners insurance coverage that helps make the state greener.
"I encourage consumers to take advantage of insurance programs designed to leave a smaller carbon footprint on the state," said Commissioner Jones. "Motorists should consider buying Pay-As-You-Drive auto insurance coverage."
The program allows insurers to offer financial incentives to people who drive less. "If Californians drive less it lowers air pollution, reduces our dependence on foreign oil, and consumers can save money on their auto insurance," Commissioner Jones said.
Four companies are approved by the state to offer Pay-As-You-Drive insurance coverage. They are Automobile Club of Southern California, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, Sequoia Insurance Company and Civil Service Employees Auto Insurance. Regulations for the program took effect in 2009. Typically, rates are based on mileage estimates so motorists are charged for only what they actually need and use.
Multi-State Climate Risk Disclosure Survey
Commissioner Jones also reminds Californians that earlier this year his Department joined with Washington State and New York to require insurers to respond to the Climate Risk Survey adopted in 2009 by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). It requires all companies that write in excess of $300 million in direct written premiums to respond to the survey. "The data we collect is valuable to us as regulators in assessing risks to insurers caused by climate change," said Commissioner Jones. The purpose of the survey is to confirm that companies are adequately addressing the impact of climate change on their risk profiles and ensure that the public has access to insurance to cover severe weather events.
Green Homeowners Insurance
Commissioner Jones also reminds homeowners that some insurance companies offer "green" homeowners policies which enable Californians with conventional homes to rebuild to the latest environmental standards after a loss. These policies may provide coverage for costs typically not covered in traditional homeowners policies, like green recertification fees, Energy Star-rated appliances, and other expenses environmentally-conscious homeowners may incur when rebuilding.
"I encourage consumers to check with their carriers to see what green options they offer," said Commissioner Jones. "Taking advantage of eco-friendly products is not only good for the individual; it's good for environment, too."
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2012 the California Department of Insurance received more than 160,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $64 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. Out-of-state callers, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
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