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New national effort to survey supplier diversity in the insurance industry

News: 2016 Press Release

For Release: May 2, 2016
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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New national effort to survey supplier diversity in the insurance industry
Six state insurance commissioners establish initiative to encourage insurers to capitalize on diverse businesses

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced that six state insurance commissioners have joined together to administer a national Multistate Insurance Diversity Survey to collect information from insurance companies regarding their supplier and governing board diversity. The new national diversity initiative builds on the success that California has seen since Commissioner Jones first launched the California Insurance Diversity Survey and Initiative in 2012.

In addition to California, insurance commissioners from Washington DC, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Washington have agreed to survey insurers in all of their states to determine to what extent insurers are opening the doors of economic opportunity to minority, women, LGBT and disabled veteran owned businesses in contracting or purchasing goods and services. The commissioners will also survey insurers on the diversity of their boards of directors.

Since Commissioner Jones initiated the California Insurance Diversity Initiative in 2012, insurer procurement from diverse suppliers has risen 63 percent with a $586.6 million increase in "diverse spend."

"Minority, women, LGBT, and disabled veteran owned businesses are a big part of our national economy and they simply want the opportunity to compete fairly for business," said Commissioner Jones. "This new national Multistate Insurance Diversity Survey will enable insurers to highlight and expand their efforts to open the doors of economic opportunity to diverse businesses in each of the six partner states as well as nationally. Since we first launched our California Insurance Diversity Survey and Initiative in 2012, California's diverse business community has seen significant progress, as insurers have worked to open further the doors to diverse suppliers. I expect my fellow commissioners to see the same in their respective states and nationally."

"The United States Black Chamber is a strong advocate for diversity initiatives that actually move the needle towards increasing diversity. This initiative encourages insurers to increase diversity on governing boards and within supplier networks. This is a common sense approach to increasing diversity in the insurance industry," says USBC President Ron Busby.

As does the California Insurance Diversity Initiative established in 2012 by Commissioner Jones, the new national Multistate Insurance Diversity Survey will collect and make public information about the diversity of insurers' governing boards and procurement from and contracts with diverse suppliers in all six participating states and nationwide. Insurers representing 75 percent of the nation's market will be surveyed, including insurers that collect $300 million or more in premiums nationally, in addition to any company that has participated in the California diversity survey previously. A joint letter was sent today to 600 insurance companies from the six commissioners advising them of the survey, which will be issued to insurers June 1st.

"The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce advocates on behalf of 4.1 million Hispanic-owned businesses across the nation," said Javier Palomarez, President and CEO. "This initiative, which explores important issues of diversity within one of the country's most important industries—the insurance sector, will undoubtedly open the doors of economic opportunity for our business owners and will set the stage for a sea of change amongst the nation's corporate leaders."

The results of the survey will increase awareness of business opportunities, potential for businesses to expand, and job creation. All six state insurance commissioners jointly undertaking the survey are looking forward to increased progress in governing board and supplier diversity.

"The Disabled Veteran Business Alliance, a national association representing disabled veteran entrepreneurs, applauds the insurance commissioners' leadership in encouraging diversity in insurance companies' contracting and procurement," said Alliance Executive Director Mike Sabellico.

Justin Nelson, Co-Founder and President of the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, added "NGLCC, the business voice of the LGBT community, is grateful to the forward thinking leadership of these six commissioners in bringing this vital and exciting Insurance Diversity Initiative survey to the forefront. This will help drive the proactive, intentional inclusion of all diverse sectors in the leadership and supply chains of insurers from coast to coast, bringing visibility and opportunity to many diverse business communities. Economic visibility, just like social visibility, is essential in building a diverse and inclusive society, as we have previously demonstrated in our work bringing LGBT business inclusion to the Fortune 500, multiple federal agencies, and the states of Massachusetts and California."

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Media Notes:

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $371 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 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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