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News: 2012 Press Release

For Release: September 21, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Applauds Governor for Signing Bill to Encourage Diversity in Insurer Procurement
AB 53 will Aid CA�s Small Businesses, Especially Minority-, Women- and Disabled Veteran-owned Enterprises

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that Governor Jerry Brown has signed AB 53, authored by Assembly Member Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana). The bill, strongly supported by Commissioner Jones and the California Department of Insurance (CDI), requires California's top 200 insurance companies to report on its efforts to procure goods and services from minority-, women-, and disabled veteran-owned business enterprises.

Each insurance company that collects more than $100 million in premiums from Californians will report on its current outreach efforts to diverse businesses and designate an individual that diverse suppliers can contact if they want to become a supplier to that insurance company. The reports would be accessible to the public through the CDI Web site for informational purposes.

"Expanding California's minority-, women- and disabled veteran-owned businesses is fundamental to the effort to help turn our economy around," said Commissioner Jones. "These dynamic businesses would surely flourish if allowed to tap into the financial strength of California's largest insurance companies. Insurance companies will reap the rewards of access to the quality services and goods these enterprises can deliver."

This legislation augments efforts Commissioner Jones took his first day in office to reinvigorate CDI's Community Investment Opportunity Network (COIN) program. He also believes additional efforts to provide further opportunity to create community partnerships between the insurance industry and California's talented minority-, women- and disabled veteran-owned businesses have strong merit and should be further explored and supported, including measures such as AB 53.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Center for Women's Business Research, diverse business enterprises constitute one of the fastest-growing segments in the U.S. economy, with minority-owned businesses generating an estimated $1 trillion in annual revenue. Minority-owned businesses also employ nearly six million workers, while women-owned businesses employ about 19 million people and generate $2.5 trillion in annual sales. Further, with more than 25 million veterans in the country, one in seven small businesses is veteran-owned.

"I thank Assembly Member Jose Solorio for authoring this vital business empowerment bill and Governor Brown for signing it," added Commissioner Jones.

The Department's Insurance Diversity Task Force is hosting a Summit on Oct. 9 in Los Angeles at the California Science Center. The Summit will be an opportunity for insurance executives to learn more about the requirements of AB 53, and to network with diverse and disabled-veteran suppliers. For more information, go to www.insurance.ca.gov/COIN, email DiversitySUmmit@insurance.ca.gov or call 916-492-3525.

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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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