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News: 2013 Press Release

For Release: August 21, 2013
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurers incorporated in California report no investments in businesses involved in Iranian military, nuclear or energy programs
Seven non-California incorporated insurers continue to invest in Iran despite request that they divest

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Department of Insurance announced today that no domestic insurers (those domiciled or incorporated in California) have investments with companies doing business with Iran's military, nuclear or energy industries.

AB 2160 (Blumenfield), which was passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2010, requires all California domestic insurers to report annually their investment holdings and disclose any investments with companies that do business with Iran's military, nuclear or energy sectors. "I was proud to author AB 2160 in the Assembly as part of my continuing efforts to ensure that state and local entities do their part to put pressure on the Iranian regime. Today's report confirms that sunlight is the best disinfectant and I commend the Commissioner and his team for their swift action," said Assemblymember Blumenfield.

"The United States government and international organizations have determined that Iran is a sponsor of terrorism and poses a potential nuclear threat. Insurer investments in companies doing business in Iran face significant risk, exposing insurers to potential losses," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "I'm pleased to see no insurer domiciled or incorporated in California is holding such risky investments in companies doing business with the Iranian military, nuclear and energy sectors. Despite my requests that they divest, seven insurance companies headquartered outside California who do business in California continue to invest in companies doing business with Iran."

In addition to AB 2160, which applies only to domestic California insurers, the commissioner has his own Iran Divestment Initiative put in place prior to AB 2160 that encourages the 1,300 insurers licensed to do business in California to divest themselves of risky Iran-related investments and tracks those who do not. The law does not permit the insurance commissioner to order divestment.

As a result of the commissioner's initiative, insurer investments in companies doing business with the Iranian energy, military, and nuclear sectors total just under $200 million--a 97 percent reduction, from the high of $6 billion prior to the initiative. As of today, the list of insurers declining to divest has been reduced to seven. The list of the seven non-California domiciled insurers declining to divest can be found on the CDI Website.

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Media Notes:

  • There are approximately 130 domestic insurers doing business in CA and subject to the provisions of AB 2160. If any domestic insurers report Iran-related investments, AB 2160 prohibits those investments from being counted among the insurers' assets in financial statements filed with the Department of Insurance.
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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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