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CA Department of Insurance
CA Department of Insurance
CA Department of Insurance

Certificate of Authority Section II

Instructions and Format for Submission of Application

To facilitate the prompt review of your application, we require all Certificate of Authority applications to be filed with the department in a standardized format. Please ensure that your application adheres to the formatting instructions provided in this section. Applications which fail to meet these formatting requirements will not be accepted for filing.

Cover Letter

Attach to the application a cover letter that sets forth the following information:

  1. The classes of insurance you are applying for;
  2. The applicant's name, address, telephone and facsimile number;
  3. The applicant's state of domicile;
  4. The name, address, telephone and facsimile number of an individual who is authorized to represent the applicant before the department. We recommend that if the representative is not employed by the applicant, that a company contact person also be identified in order to facilitate requests for financial information. If the contact person is subsequently changed, the applicant should inform the department as soon as possible;
  5. A listing of all other applications filed by the applicant, or any of its affiliates, which are pending before the department;
  6. A detailed explanation of any special circumstances not covered by the documents submitted in support of the application; and
  7. Authorization for automatic withdrawal, should the applicant fail to meet State I criteria.*

*Note: Authorizes withdrawal by the department, in lieu of receiving formal denial, should the applicant fail to meet Stage I pre-qualification requirements. Applicants automatically withdrawn will receive a written notice confirming the action and indicating the deficiencies in their application that led to the withdrawal. No applicants who pass the Stage I review will be automatically withdrawn.

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Filing Fee

Submit a check for the application filing fee, payable to the California Department of Insurance. Please also provide a separate check to cover your fingerprint fees (see Item 7 in Section III for details) and any other applicable fees, such as rate filing fees (see Item 42 and 43 in Section III). Attach the checks to the cover letter.

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Application and Supporting Documents

Submit an original and a duplicate copy of your application and supporting documents. The duplicate filing will facilitate a simultaneous review of your application by the department's Legal and Financial Divisions.

We also request, in addition to the two hard copies, that you submit an electronic copy of the application and supporting documents on a compact disc.

In addition to submitting a complete original and duplicate copy of the application, you must also submit an additional copy of Item 7 (Individual Affidavits) and Item 8 (Organizational Affidavit). The additional copies of Items 7 and 8 will allow for a simultaneous review of the affidavits by the department's Investigations Bureau.

Each item identified in Section III: Documents Required for Certificate of Authority Application should have a cover sheet as specified below.

  • Each cover sheet should be on paper suitable for use as a cover sheet, such as binder divider pages.
  • Each cover sheet needs to be tabbed on the right-hand side of the page with a number corresponding to the document's item number in Section III: Documents Required for Certificate of Authority Application.
  • If a particular item is not included with the cover sheet, a written explanation stating the reason the item has not been included must be attached to the cover sheet. Set forth below are examples of why a particular item may not be attached to the cover sheet.
    • "Item not applicable to this application for the following reason...(state reason)";
    • "Item has been attached separately because of size."

Helpful Hint: Many applicants find it convenient to submit the original and duplicate copies of their application in separate binders with numerical binder divider tabs.

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Application Checklist

The application checklist is intended to help guide you with assembling your complete application. Please be sure to complete the checklist prior to submitting your application to the department for review.

The completed checklist should be attached to the top of the application.

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Returned Applications

An application will not be accepted for filing if any of the requested information set forth in this section is missing. Should this occur, you will be telephoned by a department employee and advised of the reason why your application has not been accepted. If you are unable to correct the deficiency within 10 working days, your application will be returned to the designated contact person.

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Correspondence Between the Applicant and the Department

Once your application is accepted for filing, you will be notified of the filing date and contacted by both the department's Legal and Financial Divisions. You will be provided with the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the individuals assigned to review your application. A copy of all correspondence with the department should be provided to each of these individuals.

Prior to receiving the names of the department personnel assigned to your application, you may call the department's Corporate Affairs Bureau at 415-538-4035 or email for status information, or the department's Financial Analysis Division at 213-346-6444.

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Submitting your Application

Submit your completed application by mailing it to:

California Department of Insurance
Legal Division - Corporate Affairs Bureau
1901 Harrison Street, 6th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612

We also request that you submit electronic copies to  Please note that we do not accept password protected filings.

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Applicants are responsible for informing the department of any significant changes which occur or are discovered during the application review period. You must supply revised forms promptly if any changes occur which materially affect the accuracy of the forms you filed in support of your application.

In addition, all carriers admitted to transact insurance in California are required to maintain their Certificate of Authority in good order to ensure ongoing compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and bulletins.

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Detailed Guidelines

To assist you with perfecting your application, we have included detailed guidelines in Section IV: Guidelines & Sample Language of this application for several of the documents you are required to file. These guidelines are intended to help you determine whether or not various contracts comply with California's admission requirements. The guidelines should also be useful when trying to determine the type of detailed information the department is seeking and in what form the information should be submitted.

If you have questions about any of the documents required, we encourage you to contact the department's Corporate Affairs Bureau by calling (415) 538-4035 or sending your written inquiry to the bureau at

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Section I: Certificate of Authority Application Review Process

Section III: Documents Required for Certificate of Authority Application

Section IV: Guidelines & Sample Language

Section V: Referrals to Other Agencies & Resources

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