Public has a right to know how insurers choose who is eligible for coverage
News: 2018 Press Release
Underwriting rules are the criteria insurance companies use to determine whom to insure, what they will insure, and whether to renew an existing policy.
"Consumers and insurers alike benefit from transparency," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "Consumers are able to better understand how insurance companies decide who to insure and who to renew."
Voters passed Proposition 103 in 1988 to lower insurance rates and encourage the public to participate in the rate-setting process. Insurance companies seeking a rate increase or decrease must submit public rate applications to the commissioner including their underwriting rules.
In the past, certain insurers have contended their underwriting rules are confidential or proprietary information and not subject to public disclosure.
In response to a request by a member of the public, the general counsel analyzed the issue and determined Proposition 103 does not allow this practice.
Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.