Slavery Era Insurance Policies - SB 2199
BILL NUMBER: SB 2199 CHAPTERED
FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE SEPTEMBER 30, 2000
APPROVED BY GOVERNOR SEPTEMBER 29, 2000
PASSED THE SENATE AUGUST 31, 2000
PASSED THE ASSEMBLY AUGUST 29, 2000
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY AUGUST 28, 2000
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY AUGUST 7, 2000
AMENDED IN SENATE MAY 16, 2000 AMENDED IN SENATE MAY 2, 2000
INTRODUCED BY Senator Hayden
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Aroner)
MARCH 16, 2000
An act to add Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 13810) to Division 3 of the Insurance Code, relating to insurance.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
SB 2199, Hayden. Slavery era insurance policies.
Existing law requires an insurer doing business in this state that sold certain policies of insurance directly or through a related company to persons in Europe between 1920 and 1945 to provide certain information to the Insurance Commissioner for entry into the Holocaust Era Insurance Registry, as specified.
This bill would require the commissioner to request and obtain information from insurers doing business in this state regarding any records of slaveholder insurance policies issued by any predecessor corporation during the slavery era, which policies provided coverage to slaveholders for damage to or death of their slaves. This bill would require insurers to research and report on these policies, and would require the commissioner to make this information available to the public and the Legislature. This bill would state that descendants of slaves are entitled to full disclosure.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Insurance policies from the slavery era have been discovered in the archives of several insurance companies, documenting insurance coverage for slaveholders for damage to or death of their slaves,issued by a predecessor insurance firm. These documents provide the first evidence of ill-gotten profits from slavery, which profits in part capitalized insurers whose successors remain in existence today.
(b) Legislation has been introduced in Congress for the past 10years demanding an inquiry into slavery and its continuing legacies.
(c) The Insurance Commissioner and the Department of Insurance are entitled to seek information from the files of insurers licensed and doing business in this state, including licensed California subsidiaries of international insurance corporations, regarding insurance policies issued to slaveholders by predecessor corporations. The people of California are entitled to significant historical information of this nature. SEC. 2. Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 13810) is added to Division 3 of the Insurance Code, to read:
CHAPTER 5. SLAVERY ERA INSURANCE POLICIES
13810. The commissioner shall request and obtain information from insurers licensed and doing business in this state regarding any records of slaveholder insurance policies issued by any predecessor corporation during the slavery era.
13811. The commissioner shall obtain the names of any slaveholders or slaves described in those insurance records, and shall make the information available to the public and the Legislature.
13812. Each insurer licensed and doing business in this state shall research and report to the commissioner with respect to any records within the insurer's possession or knowledge relating to insurance policies issued to slaveholders that provided coverage for damage to or death of their slaves.
13813. Descendants of slaves, whose ancestors were defined as private property, dehumanized, divided from their families, forced to perform labor without appropriate compensation or benefits, and whose ancestors' owners were compensated for damages by insurers, are entitled to full disclosure.