Skip to Main Content
Contact Us Search
CA Department of Insurance
CA Department of Insurance
CA Department of Insurance

California State Specific Instructions

NAIC Uniform Certificate of Authority Application

California State Specific Requirements

If you are an insurer filing a NAIC UCAA Primary Application or Expansion Application in California, you will need to be aware of the following California specific information:

The California application review process consists of a thorough, comprehensive operational and financial review of the applicant's business. The review evaluates the applicant's qualifications as an insurer with respect to:

  • Capital and surplus
  • Lawfulness and quality of investments
  • Financial stability
  • Reinsurance arrangements
  • Competency, character and integrity of management
  • In the case of a capital stock insurer, ownership and control of issued and outstanding shares
  • Whether claims are promptly and fairly adjusted, and are promptly and fully paid in accordance with the law and terms of the policies
  • Fairness and honesty in methods of doing business
  • Method by which the applicant was promoted if any of its promoters remain as stockholders or in management; and Hazard to policyholders or others.

California reserves the right to review, for substantive reasons, all documents and information submitted by an applicant as well as any other supplemental information that may be necessary for regulatory review under California law, at any time prior and subsequent to issuance of a California Certificate of Authority, and, if necessary, to disapprove or require changes for substantive cause. The availability of documents for public inspection and copying is governed by the California Public Records Act (Government Code Sections 6250 et. seq.) and other applicable California law.

The length of time it takes to review your application will depend primarily upon how well you have prepared your application prior to submitting it for review. To this end, all applicants are strongly encouraged to contact California with any questions before submitting their expansion and primary application. Questions of a legal nature should directed to the Corporate Affairs Bureau at (415) 538-4035 or Financial questions should be directed to the Financial Analysis Division at (213) 346-6444.

While it is the intent of California to meet the time goals established for processing expansion and primary applications, processing of applications within these goal time periods is not guaranteed in all cases and at all times of the year. Regardless, every effort will be made to expedite the processing of all expansion and primary uniform applications.

Applicants are expected to be familiar with California insurance laws and regulations.

Please see Certificate of Authority Instructions, Section III: Documents Required for Certificate of Authority Application.

California Specific Requirements that Apply to Primary and/or Expansion Applications

Filing Fee

Schedule of Fees and Charges. The fee is payable to:

California Department of Insurance
Attn: Corporate Affairs Bureau
1901 Harrison Street, 6th Floor
Oakland, CA  94612
(415) 538-4035

Application Format

Primary Application or Expansion Application must be submitted in electronic form to  Please note we do not accept password protected emails or links. 
For questions, please call:  (415) 538-4035.

Capital and Surplus

For property and casualty insurance companies:

  • Statutory minimum paid-in capital is $1,000,000 to $2,600,000
  • Statutory minimum surplus is $1,000,000 to $2,800,000
  • (See Insurance Code sections 700.01 through 700.05, inclusive)

For life and disability insurance companies:

  • Statutory minimum paid-in capital is $2,500,000
  • Statutory minimum surplus is $2,500,000
  • (See Insurance Code Sections 10510, 10511, 10512 and 700.02 and 700.05)

Applicants should be aware that it is within the discretion of the Insurance Commissioner to require aggregate capital and surplus levels above statutory minimums prior to admission. 

Name Approval

Name approval is required. Pre-reservation of names is advisable, submit request by letter to  Submit filing fee to address indicated below.  Schedule of Fees and Charges.

California Department of Insurance
Corporate Affairs Bureau
1901 Harrison Street, 6th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
(415) 538-4035

Report of Examination

California requires a report of examination by the insurer's domestic regulator as of date to be no more than three years from the date the application is accepted for submission or no more than four years from the submission of the application when certain supplemental information is provided. Reports of Examination are reviewed for content.

Primary Application Filers

If you are forming a new insurance company in California, you will need to obtain an appropriate securities permit to authorize the negotiation, solicitation or sale of any securities. Please contact the California Department of Insurance at or (415) 538-4035 for more details.

If you are filing a Primary Application in California, you have already obtained an organizational permit and are applying to be a California domiciled insurer, you will need to submit the Primary Application, as well as the following California specific documents:

  • Rate Filings
  • Advisory and Management Agreements
  • Fingerprints
  • Statutory Memberships
  • Variable Annuity/Life Qualification

Expansion Application Filers

If you are an insurer operating in another state, filing an Expansion Application in California, you will need to submit the Expansion Application, as well as the following California specific documents:

  • Rate Filings
  • Custodial Agreements
  • Advisory and Management Agreements
  • Debt to Equity Ratio Statement
  • Fingerprints
  • Statutory Memberships
  • Variable Annuity/Life Qualification

Please contact the California Department of Insurance at or (415) 538-4035 for more detailed information.

What's New - Expansion and Primary Applicants, Please Take Note

California accepts the UCAA biographical affidavit with original "wet" signatures and fingerprints however, independent, third party vendor background reports are not required.

Expansion Applicants, Please Take Note

California has a three-year seasoning requirement. No insurer will be admitted into California unless it has actively transacted, for a minimum of three years, the classes it has requested admission to transact in California, unless the applicant meets specified exemption criteria. See California Insurance Code Section 716.

Google Translate