Insurance Commissioner Lara names members to statewide boards to drive forward consumer protection goals
News: 2021 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today announced several new appointments to help drive forward the California Department of Insurance’s mission to protect consumers. These appointments include naming one member to the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP) Advisory Committee, one member to the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) Board of Governors, two members to the California Organized Investment Network (COIN) Advisory Board, and one member to the Curriculum Board.
“Our goal is to protect California consumers with every tool we have available,” said Commissioner Lara. “Each of these appointees share my passion and commitment. They are eager to get to work, share their expertise, and drive forward our shared goal of protecting California consumers and a competitive insurance industry for all Californians.”
The California State Legislature created CAARP 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 them 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 of an insurance company insolvency. Established in 1969 by the Governor and California State Legislature, CIGA comprises all insurance companies admitted to sell homeowners, workers’ compensation, automobile, and other specified property and casualty lines of insurance in California.
Established in 1996, COIN guides insurers on making financially sound investments that provide environmental benefits in California and social and economic benefits for the state’s low-to-moderate income, rural, and underserved communities. The COIN Advisory Board – consisting of the Insurance Commissioner and several leaders in economic development, impact investments, consumer advocacy, and insurance – provides guidance to the Commissioner and COIN to meet its mission and chief priorities, specifically to increase environmental and green investments, affordable housing projects, and small business assistance as a result of the pandemic.
The Curriculum Board oversees the development of prelicensing and continuing education curriculum for agents and brokers to uphold professional standards that protect consumers. This includes a list of preapproved courses of study as well as courses of study for professional designations. This Board also develops standards for providers and instructors who offer courses and other training to licensed agents and brokers.
The next CAARP Advisory Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 25, 2021. The CIGA Board of Governors will be meeting on Wednesday, August 4, 2021. The next COIN Advisory Board meeting will be held on Thursday, July 22, 2021, and the next Curriculum Board meeting will be held on Thursday, July 15, 2021. More details are available at www.insurance.ca.gov/boards.
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Newly appointed members include:
CAARP Advisory Committee:
Nona Tirre Miranda is owner and operator of a State Farm Insurance agency for the last 12 years in Claremont. Tirre Mirande is the recipient of the State Farm Top 100 New Agents within the United States, the Woman of the Year award by then-State Assemblywoman Norma Torres in 2012, and the Small Business of the Year award by then-State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod in 2011. She serves as Treasurer of the Claremont Rotary Board of Directors and is a former board member of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). Tirre Miranda has been appointed to the CAARP Advisory Committee in the producer representative seat with a term ending on July 12, 2022.
CIGA Board of Governors:
Christina Ozuna is Vice President of Quality Assurance - Claims for Employers Holdings, Inc. Ozuna has over 30 years of experience in the workers’ compensation industry with a focus on claims management, claims auditing, vendor management, and serious claim oversight. In her current role, she is also responsible for ensuring compliance with contracts, monitoring regulatory requirements, and managing reinsurance relationships. Additionally, Ozuna is a Member of the Kids Chance of Nevada Board of Directors (a chapter of Kids’ Chance, a nationwide organization), which provides college scholarships to the children of parents who have been killed or severely injured in a workplace accident in Nevada. Ozuna has been appointed to the CIGA Board of Governors in a member insurer representative seat with a term ending on December 31, 2023.
COIN Advisory Board:
Rudy Espinoza is Executive Director of Inclusive Action for the City, a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), which is dedicated to bringing people together to build strong, local economies through community-based advocacy and transformative economic development initiatives. Previously, Espinoza was a Senior Program Officer at a CDFI in South Los Angeles, providing micro-loans and business assistance to entrepreneurs in South Los Angeles. He also co-founded the LA Street Vendor Campaign, an initiative that legalized street vending in Los Angeles and decriminalized street vending in California with the signing of Senate Bill 946 (Lara, Chapter 459, Statutes of 2018). He serves as a member of the East Los Angeles Area Planning Commission, the Adobe Community Housing Board of Directors, and the Center for Nonprofit Management Board of Directors. Espinoza has been appointed to the COIN Advisory Board in the consumer advocacy group representative seat with a term ending on July 12, 2023.
Maïté Irakoze Baur is Chief Investment Officer for Farmers Insurance Group, where she is responsible for managing more than $26 billion of Farmers investments and $8 billion of retirement plan assets and overseeing Treasury operations. Irakoze Baur has over 15 years of global experience. Prior to joining Farmers in 2016, she was Head of Investment Mandates and Treasury in Investment Management Switzerland for Zurich Insurance Group, where she had the responsibility to implement the investment strategy and liquidity management for various insurance balance sheets (~30billion ₣ /Swiss Franc) based in Switzerland. Irakoze Baur has been appointed to the COIN Advisory Board in the insurance investment executive representative seat with a term ending on July 12, 2023.
Samona Caldwell is the Government Affairs Coordinator for State Farm Insurance Companies. She has been with State Farm for 26 years with experience in the Fire Claims Department as well as Public Affairs. She serves as a corporate advisory board member for the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute and the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, and as the Advisory Board Chair for Educate California. Caldwell has been appointed to the Curriculum Board in the insurance company representative seat with a term ending on July 12, 2024.
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.