By Kim Cary, Senior Adjuster
Novemeber 12, 2010
On November 2nd, California voted in Dave Jones as the new Insurance Commissioner. The Commissioner oversees the California Department of Insurance (CDI) which ensures that consumers are protected; the insurance marketplace is fostered to be vibrant and stable; the regulatory process is maintained as open and equitable; and the law is enforced fairly and impartially.
According to insurance.ca.gov:
As a state mandated regulatory agency, the CDI has authority over how the insurance industry conducts business within California. The following eight points represent areas where regulatory authority is exercised on a daily basis by the Department:
- Legal - Legal action is the ultimate enforcement instrument of the Department. Possible legal enforcement actions include: Cease and Desist Orders, Notices of Noncompliance, and Administrative Law Hearings. These actions may result in fines or penalties against our licensees.
- Consumer Protection - The Department aids consumers by regulating how insurance companies market and administer their policies. Insurance business must be conducted in an honest, open, and fair manner.
- Licensing - As mandated by the California Insurance Code (CIC), the Department holds licensing examinations for brokers and agents and investigates suspected violations of the CIC by licensees.
- Enforcement - To protect the public from economic loss and distress by actively investigating and arresting those who commit insurance fraud and to reduce the overall incidence of insurance fraud through anti-fraud outreach to the public, private, and government sectors.
- Certificates of Authority - Insurance companies that want to do business in California must apply and be reviewed by the Department to determine whether or not they should be given the authority to sell insurance in this state.
- Conservation and Liquidation -The Department takes an active, leading role to conserve, rehabilitate, or liquidate troubled insurance companies under appointment of the Superior Court.
- Rate Regulation - The Rate Regulation Branch, under the provisions of Proposition 103, reviews proposed personal auto and homeowners insurance rates to ensure that they are fair, reasonable, and adequate.
- Financial Surveillance - By examining and reviewing key financial statements and conducting audits of insurance companies in California, the Department oversees the financial condition of the insurance industry and helps to ensure stability and to protect policyholders.
Insurance Commissioner Elect Dave Jones is currently serving his third term in the California State Assembly representing Sacramento’s 9th District. He served in the Clinton Administration as Special Assistant and Counsel to US Attorney General Janet Reno. He also worked as a Legal Aid attorney providing free assistance to the poor.
As indicated on his campaign website, Dave Jones believes in holding insurers accountable and will strive to keep insurance premiums affordable. He is a strong consumer advocate and was awarded the 2008 Consumer Champion by the California Consumer Federation. He authored legislation requiring the Department of Insurance to obtain public input and hold hearings on major decisions.
Quality Claims looks forward to seeing positive changes for consumers at the Department of Insurance when Dave Jones takes office.