Calif. Homeowners Emergency Regulation Adopted

July 28, 2003

The California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) last week approved the insurance department’s emergency regulation on homeowners insurance underwriting and rating. The regulation restricts insurers’ consideration of past losses.

The Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC) sought a “stay” on the regulation’s implementation, but on July 23, the Sacramento Superior Court denied ACIC’s request. Thus, the regulation is now in effect.

The ACIC believes no emergency exists to justify the adoption of the
regulation, nor does it believe the department has the statutory authority to impose such restrictions on homeowners insurance underwriting and rating.

The ruling stems from an advisory notice the Department of Insurance issued on April 24, 2003, regarding the use of loss information as an eligibility guideline for homeowners insurance. The ACIC was part of a joint lawsuit from the industry challenging the validity of the advisory notice.

On June 12, the Sacramento Superior Court issued an order that prevents the insurance department from enforcing the advisory notice. On July 10, the insurance department asked the OAL for permission to adopt an emergency regulation that is similar to the advisory notice.

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