Insurance Commissioner Lara names members to the CAARP Advisory Committee to help protect consumers
News: 2021 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today announced one new appointment and several reappointments to the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP) Advisory Committee. The Committee’s primary responsibility is to help expand auto insurance coverage to California consumers by providing policy advice and expertise on CAARP’s operations.
“Protecting California consumers is the Department of Insurance’s top priority. My latest board appointments share my commitment to protecting consumers and maintaining a competitive insurance industry,” said Commissioner Lara. “I am pleased that they are bringing their experiences and expertise in service of some of the most vulnerable consumers in the state.”
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. Members of the CAARP Advisory Committee provide policy advice to Commissioner Lara on the operation of its programs.
The next CAARP Advisory Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 17, 2021. More details are available at www.insurance.ca.gov/boards. These positions are uncompensated.
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Newly appointed members of the CAARP Advisory Committee include:
Bernardo de la Torre is owner of Law Offices of Bernardo de la Torre in La Mirada, a law firm specializing in the representation of injured workers and founded in 1985. De la Torre is a member of the California Applicant Attorneys Association Board of Directors and is a founding member of LatinoComp, which is a non-profit workers’ compensation professional organization. He is a former Los Angeles County Superior Court pro tem judge and is a recipient of the Attorney of the Year Award from the Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles County in 2011. De la Torre joins the CAARP Advisory Committee in the public member representative seat with a term ending on November 10, 2022.
Cynthia Strathmann is Executive Director for Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE), a non-profit economic justice organization that advocates for tenant rights, healthy housing, and equitable development in Los Angeles. Formerly, Strathmann was a Research and Policy Analyst for Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) and is also a former Research Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California where she managed a National Institutes of Health-funded study of South Los Angeles families and health disparities. Strathmann has been reappointed to the CAARP Advisory Committee in the public member representative seat with a term ending on November 10, 2022.
Doug Heller, of Los Angeles, 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 is also an appointee on 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 November 10, 2022.
Kelly Browning is Executive Director at Impact Teen Drivers, a Sacramento-based 501 (c)(3) charitable organization which develops, promotes, and facilitates evidence-based education to stop the number one killer of teens: car crashes, particularly those caused by reckless and distracted driving. Browning is a member of the National Safety Council California Teen Safe Driving Coalition Lead and the American Academy of Pediatrics Teen Driver and Occupant Safety Advisory Committee, Orange County. She is also a recipient of the Teen Driver Safety Leadership Award from the National Safety Council. Browning has been reappointed to the CAARP Advisory Committee in the public member representative seat with a term ending on November 10, 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 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.