Insurance Diversity Bill Aims to Promote California’s Woman-, Minority-, LGBT- and Veteran-Owned Businesses
News: 2019 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Senate Insurance Committee has approved Senate Bill 534, which encourages the $310 billion insurance industry to use its buying power to benefit diverse small businesses. SB 534 is authored by Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) and sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.
SB 534 extends innovative programs that bring increased transparency and opportunities for partnership between the nation’s largest insurance market and woman-, minority-, LGBT- and veteran-owned businesses.
"California’s nation-leading insurance industry can be an engine of prosperity for diverse businesses, benefiting our communities and the customers they serve,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “SB 534 will continue to leverage the rapid growth of the insurance sector’s role in contributing to vibrant local economies.”
“California is a diverse state and becomes more diverse with each day,” said Senator Steven Bradford. “Ignoring that fact also ignores the proven value diverse businesses have and the importance of making our economy more inclusive. Insurance spending on diverse businesses increased 93% over the few years the supplier survey was administered. I think that difference speaks to the enormous impact this measure will have.”
Since 2011, the California Department of Insurance’s Insurance Diversity Initiative has aimed to increase supplier and governing board diversity in the insurance industry. Through surveys administered by the Department to insurers since 2012, critical data has revealed important findings on diversity in the industry.
The Department’s surveys have seen procurement between insurers and California’s diverse-owned businesses increase by 93% over a five-year period, from $930 million in 2012 to $1.8 billion in 2017.
SB 534 will reauthorize the Insurance Supplier Diversity Survey, which expired in January 2019, and expand it to include LGBT- and veteran-owned businesses. In addition SB 534 will continue the Department of Insurance’s governing board survey and extend the Insurance Diversity Task Force, comprised of up to 15 members representing insurance companies, experts in supplier and governing board diversity, and minority, women, disabled-veteran or veteran, and LGBT business enterprises.
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- SB 534 was approved on April 10 by the California Senate Insurance Committee. It goes next to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill must be approved by the full Senate and Assembly and signed by the Governor before it would take effect.
- SB 534 is available at leginfo.legislature.ca.gov
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.