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News: 2011 Commissioner's Report on Underserved Communities

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Introduction

The Community Service Statement under California Code of Regulations (CCR) Section 2646.6, has the purpose of addressing the issue of availability of insurance in "underserved" communities and of promoting anti-discrimination so that all have equal access to insurance in California.

The Community Service Statement regulations require the California Department of Insurance to collect and analyze data from home, personal auto, commercial multiple peril and commercial fire insurers in California for all ZIP codes, and report on those that are considered as "underserved". The Commissioner collects and reports earned exposures for the following business lines:

1) Line 1- Fire
2) Line 4- Homeowners Multiple Peril
3) Lines 5.1 and 5.2 - Commercial Multiple Peril (both liability and non-liability portions)
4) Line 19.2 - Private Passenger Automobile Liability

The Commissioner also gathers and gives details on the number of agencies and service offices in the "underserved" areas, with their corresponding data as a percentage to statewide totals for each insurance company. 

This report contains 2009 and 2010 experience data statewide and the "underserved" communities, representing roughly 99.7% of the homeowners, personal auto, and commercial multiple peril and commercial fire insurance market in California [1]. There are 145 communities in California that are considered "underserved" as defined herein.

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About this Report

This report consists of five tables (Tables A through E):

Table A - ZIP Codes in UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES

This table lists the communities in the state of California, by ZIP code, that fall within the definition of "underserved" pursuant to Section 2646.6(c)(1)(a-c) of the CCR (see below). All three criteria must be met for a ZIP code to be deemed "underserved".

Per Section (c) of CCR code 2646.6, a community shall be deemed to be "underserved" by the insurance industry if the Commissioner finds:

  1. the proportion of uninsured motorists is ten percentage points above the statewide average as reflected in the most recent Department of Insurance statistics regarding the statewide average of uninsured motorists; and
  2. the per capita income [2] of the community, as measured in the most recent U.S. Census, is below the fiftieth (50th) percentile for California; and
  3. the community, as measured in the most recent U.S. Census, is predominantly minority. Predominantly minority community can be qualified as any community that is composed of two-thirds or more minorities as those groups are defined in subsection (b) (6) (A) through (D) of CCR Code 2646.6.

Table B - Summary Statistics

The purpose of this table is to summarize the number of earned exposures statewide and in the "underserved" communities for each of the experience years (2009 and 2010) involved, for Personal and Commercial Property Coverage as well as for Private Passenger Automobile Coverage.

Table C - Number and Percentage of Earned Exposure per Company

The purpose of this table is to provide total earned exposures, statewide and in the "underserved" communities, per company, for each of the experience years involved, including the percentage of total earned exposures in the "underserved" communities to statewide data.  This report represents roughly 99.7% of the insurance market for the lines of business considered under the Community Service Statement. This table is comprised of three sections, with one section for each category of insurance business - real and personal property, private passenger auto, and commercial multi-peril and commercial fire. Each section consists of aggregate totals for the two experience years (2009 and 2010) and reports the coverages that were written by the company (listed alphabetically).

Table D - Service Office Data per Company

The purpose of this table is to provide the number of service offices per company in California and in the "underserved" communities, for each of the experience years involved, including the percentage of service offices in the "underserved" communities to statewide data. The table lists the companies alphabetically and reports the largest number of service offices reported under the lines of business considered in the Community Service Statement for each business type - personal and/or commercial.  The total number of service offices shown in this report refers to the number of sales/marketing, claims offices and agencies a company had in the year reported.  Note that a service office can manage both business types and that a service office can represent multiple individual companies within the same parent company.

Table E - Agency Data per Company

The purpose of this table is to provide the number of agencies throughout the state of California and within the "underserved" communities, for each of the experience years involved, that are contracted to write insurance for the companies (listed alphabetically), and the percentage of agencies in the "underserved" communities to statewide data. The table reports the largest number of agencies reported under the lines of business considered in the Community Service Statement for each business type - personal and/or commercial.  Note that an agency can manage both business types and that an agency can represent multiple individual companies within the same parent company.

Starting with this report, the table goes further and reports the number of agencies by marketing system based on captive/exclusive or independent agency outlets. Please note that companies using a different marketing system other than agencies, such as a direct marketing system or having brokers to market their products, will not report any agencies.

Important Terms and Insurance Coverages Provided


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Conclusion

Communities that are considered "underserved" are with no or little insurance protection. Absence of or inadequate insurance protection can be detrimental to people's lives. To ensure that ALL individuals and families, as well as businesses or organizations get the insurance protection they need against the adverse financial consequences of losses, is one of the goals of California Department of Insurance. California Code of Regulations Section 2646.6 (CCR), paves the way for the department in its strong mission to continually identify these "underserved" communities, so they too, can acquire the insurance protection they need.

This report can not address the issue as to why some people do not have insurance. It is up to the community, insurance industry and the Department to make sure adequate coverage can be made available to all people. However, with this report, it is with hope that it can continue to encourage the insurance industry to invest and to make insurance accessible in the "underserved" communities, while the California Department of Insurance, continues with its utmost goal of trying to educate and help everyone benefit the protection and the peace of mind that insurance can offer.

Below are examples of how the department tackled or is dealing with the "underserved" communities:

What has the California Department of Insurance (CDI) done or is still doing to address these "underserved" or uninsured communities?

1) California Low Cost Automobile Insurance (CLCA) Program was established by the Legislature in 1999 and exists pursuant to California Insurance Code Section 11629.7 as a program designed to provide income eligible persons with liability insurance protection at affordable rates as a way to meet California's financial responsibility laws.

2) On December 10, 2007, the program became available in all 58 counties of the state. The California Department of Insurance has an aggressive public relations campaign, including a new website at www.mylowcostauto.com and paid advertising and related publicity in targeted areas.  Since the program's inception, 79,629 Californians have applied for insurance through the program, of which 66,375 assignments were made. Approximately 59% of the assigned motorist had previously been uninsured. The program has met the success measures outlined in statute and CDI will work aggressively to promote the CLCA program, through its Consumer Education and Outreach project, to "underserved" communities.

Contact Information

Any questions or comments regarding the methodology of the data collection presented in this report may be forwarded to:

Luciano Gobbo
Division Chief
Statistical Analysis Division
e-mail: Luciano.Gobbo@insurance.ca.gov

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[1] 99.74 (2009) and 99.73% (2010) of the market represent the data that has been through an extensive validation process and are considered reasonable. The remaining % of the market either reported data that failed our validation, did not comply with the regulation or are not required to report due to total volume being below the Department's reporting threshold.
[2] Per capita income was estimated by Western Economic Research.

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