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In Celebration Of Earth Day Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Reminds Consumers How To Go Green With Their Coverage

News: 2012 Press Release

For Release: April 20, 2012
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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."

Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.

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