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Commissioner Lara Appoints Members to Advisory Boards and Committees to Protect California Policyholders

News: 2020 Press Release

For Release: April 24, 2020
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Commissioner Lara Appoints Members to Advisory Boards and Committees to Protect California Policyholders

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today announced the newest members of multiple advisory boards and committees to protect California policyholders. Commissioner Lara announced appointments to the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP) Advisory Committee, the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) Board of Governors, and the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) Governing Committee.

“I am very pleased to announce these appointments to the CAARP Advisory Committee, the CIGA Board of Governors, and the WCIRB Governing Committee,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “These committees and boards’ primary goal is to protect California consumers and these members will help us meet that goal.”

The California State Legislature created the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan to provide auto insurance for motorists unable to obtain coverage in the private market due to their driving records or other extraordinary circumstances. One program within the plan — the California Low Cost Auto Program — aims to provide affordable liability insurance to income eligible good drivers by assigning drivers to private insurers based upon the companies’ share of the auto insurance market. The CAARP Advisory Committee provides policy advice to Commissioner Lara on matters affecting the operation of its programs.

The CIGA Board of Governors oversees the guarantee association’s general operations and management in order to protect policyholders in the event an insurance company becomes insolvent. Established in 1969 by the Governor and California State Legislature, CIGA comprises all insurance companies licensed to sell homeowners, workers’ compensation, automobile, and other specified lines of insurance in California.

The WCIRB Governing Committee sets policy, oversees management of the affairs of the WCIRB, and oversees all issues involving pure premium rates, classifications, rating plans, rating systems, manual rules and policy, and endorsement forms. The WCIRB is a private organization licensed by the Department of Insurance for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and compiling rating data, with funding coming from assessments of its insurer members. All workers' compensation insurance companies in California are required by law to be members of the WCIRB.

The next CAARP Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. The next CIGA Board of Governors meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 and the next WCIRB Governing Committee meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. More details are available at: or you may send an email to:


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Media notes:

  • The newest appointed members of the CAARP Advisory Committee:
    • Samona Caldwell is the Government Affairs Coordinator for State Farm Insurance Companies. She has been with State Farm for 24 years with experience in the Fire Claims Department as well as Public Affairs. She serves as a corporate advisory member for the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute and as the Corporate Advisory Board Chair for Educate California. Caldwell has been appointed to the CAARP Advisory Committee in the producer representative seat with a term ending on April 24, 2021.
    • Samantha Corbin is CEO of Corbin and Kaiser where she works as an advocate with state and local elected officials and regulators on a diverse portfolio of legislative and regulatory matters, including consumer protection, equity, social justice, privacy, and education and workforce development. She has been appointed to the CAARP Advisory Committee in the public member representative seat with a term ending on April 24, 2021.
    • Doug Heller currently serves as a consulting insurance expert to the Consumer Federation of America and the Consumer Federation of California and, for nine years, served as the Executive Director of Consumer Watchdog. Heller has authored op-eds, articles, and reports on auto insurance pricing in the United States, overseen regulatory challenges to insurance company rates and practices, and provided expertise in insurance-related litigation. He was also recently appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance. Heller has been reappointed to the CAARP Advisory Committee in the public member representative seat with a term ending on December 31, 2020.
  • The newest appointed member of the CIGA Board of Governors:
    • Alex Timm is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Root Insurance. Timm leads the company in using mobile technology and data science to offer personalized rates to drivers through an app experience. In 2020, the company launched Root Enterprise to help improve the way commercial companies assess and manage risk. Timm joins the CIGA Board of Governors as the representative for Root Insurance in a member insurer seat for the remainder of an existing term ending December 31, 2022.
  • The reappointed member of the WCIRB Governing Committee:
    • Jeremy Smith has served as the Deputy Legislative Director of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California for the past 10 years. Prior to his current role, Smith worked as a Legislative Advocate at the California Labor Federation. He began his career in organized labor as the Legislative Director of the Illinois AFL-CIO in 2001 after staffing the Senate Labor and Employment Committee in the Illinois State Senate. Smith has been reappointed to the WCIRB Governing Committee in the organized labor representative seat with a term ending on March 1, 2022.

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 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.

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