News: 2012 Press Release
For Release: October 1, 2012
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Applauds Governor For Signing AB 2303
Bill Will Provide Important Consumer Protections Against Insurer Insolvency; Eliminates Duplicative Advisory Committee, Obsolete Reporting Requirements
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that Governor Jerry Brown has signed AB 2303, authored by the Assembly Committee on Insurance. This measure, which received unanimous, bipartisan support throughout the legislative process, is sponsored by Commissioner Jones and the California Department of Insurance.
One notable component of AB 2303 is the authority that will allow the Insurance Commissioner to take over an insurer that the U.S. Treasury Secretary determines is insolvent or in danger of becoming insolvent. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010 granted the U.S. Treasury Secretary with the authority to make insolvency-related determinations on specified insurers, but retained the act of conserving and liquidating with the states. This bill, which is one of the first in the nation to address this procedural gap, ensures a timely process for initiating the conservation and liquidation process of insurers.
"I am pleased that Governor Brown has signed this important legislation. Insurer insolvencies can be devastating to policyholders and this measure will allow the Department of Insurance to better address insurer insolvency," said Commissioner Jones. "The ability to take over an insolvent insurer in a timely manner or an insurer on the verge of insolvency is pivotal to protecting California's consumers."
This bill also deletes obsolete reporting requirements and eliminates an advisory committee that is seen as duplicative to other CDI advisory boards and committees. "We explored opportunities to consolidate or eliminate outdated, duplicative department efforts to enable department staff to focus on important mission-critical issues," said Commissioner Jones. "This effort is consistent with a mutual goal I have with Governor Jerry Brown to eliminate wasteful reports that no longer serve a purpose."
In addition, AB 2303 makes several changes in law relating to insurance producer licenses, including the establishment of a license for insurance crop adjusters, and expansion of the Department's pre-licensing and continuing education curriculum board to provide for representation from the insurance adjuster and bail agent industries.
"I would like to thank the Assembly Insurance Committee for authoring this legislation and Governor Jerry Brown for signing it," said Commissioner Jones.
The measure becomes effective on January 1, 2013.
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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