California tells auto insurers to disclose pandemic profits

SACRAMENTO – California’s insurance commissioner on Thursday ordered nearly 50 auto insurers to provide detailed information about the cost of their claims during the pandemic, their latest attempt to compensate consumers who they say charge more than traffic. was taken when the country’s largest insurance market implemented the first US coronavirus migration. Home order.

Commissioner Ricardo Lara gave California’s major insurance companies 30 days to respond.

Deputy Insurance Commissioner Michael Soler said, “With this letter, every insurance company is on notice to give us data so we can tell them what consumers are owed.”

Lara’s refusal to accede to more than three dozen rate hike requests over the past 29 months threatens the ability of insurers to write policies in California, the latest in a dispute over whether or not. Insurers have already given back $2.4 billion in additional pandemic profits, but say they are now losing money as traffic has reached pre-pandemic levels, due to worsening driving habits due to inflation and supply chain constraints. The cost of inflated claims has gone up.

“We are concerned about the impact of CDI’s inaction on the auto insurance market and California drivers,” said Denny Ritter, vice president of state government relations for the American Property Casualty Insurance Association.

She said insurers are “happy to take some steps toward getting the department to at least review these filings” and will provide data that she said “would demonstrate excessive cost drivers that CDI is ignoring.”

Several major companies have said they are cutting their California marketing or operations, with the CEOs of Progressive and Kemper last month tying their decisions to Lara’s failure to consider a rate hike.

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The controversy comes as Lara runs for re-election against Republican Robert Howell, which is not expected to pose a serious threat.

The companies that Lara says can’t force an additional refund they say are still owed consumers because of a 2021 appellate court ruling they say is interpreting too broadly. Lara’s demand letter is his latest attempt to try to incorporate insurers’ earlier profits into their current rate hike requests.

His letter went to 47 companies doing business in California, addressing 54 rate hike applications, including 38 that had been stalled for months.

The letter stated that the cost of claims to insurers “exceeded as a result of policyholders driving significantly less”. β€œOn behalf of California Consumers, the Department of Insurance seeks a premium refund in the full amount owed to policyholders.”

The three-page letter said detailed cost information would be considered in the department’s review of any pending or future rate hike requests. It has a separate “refund information workbook”β€”a spreadsheet with five subcategories for companies to elaborate on the details requested in at least six different areas.