New online tool bridges the language gap for insurance consumers
News: 2017 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced today the launch of a new online agent language locator service created to make it easier for consumers to find insurance agents and brokers in their area who speak their chosen language. The service is also available for consumers searching for public adjusters and bail agents.
“Insurance agents are a trusted source in helping consumers determine how best to protect themselves and their assets,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Having an agent who can communicate in your language results in a better understanding of the policies and helps ensure you get the appropriate coverage for your needs.”
The easy-to-use tool gives consumers access to information from over 11,000 agents and brokers in California allowing them to search for a nearby agent or broker who speaks the same language they do.
Consumers enter their preferred language and city or ZIP code into the tool and the agents and brokers listed following a consumer’s search will be located near the consumer’s selected city or ZIP code. The list provides consumers with the licensee’s business telephone numbers, links to CDI’s Check License Status webpage, and a Google map for each of the licensee’s business locations. The service is also accessible from both mobile devices and desktop computers.
“The CDI Agent Language Locator website provides an invaluable service to our communities in locating agents that can speak in their primary language,” said Public Policy Director, Julian Canete from the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce. “All Californians should be able to feel confident in making their purchase of insurance products.”
Currently there are producers available for 36 languages, including American Sign Language (ASL), Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bosnian, Cambodian, Cantonese, Croatian, Dutch, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay-Indonesian, Mandarin, Mongolian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu and Vietnamese.
The agent language locator service is an independent and unbiased source for locating agents. The department urges consumers to also check the license status of all agents or brokers, before contacting them to ensure there are no formal disciplinary actions against the agent. If a consumer has any questions or concerns they may contact the department’s Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357.
The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $288 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 $394 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.