Insurance Commissioner Lara’s inaction is causing a car insurance crisis – Orange County Register | So Good News


WHO they want pay more for car insurance? I don’t. And neither do the clients I work for as an independent insurer. But a potential problem with car loans is starting in California that will hurt consumers – all because the Insurance Commissioner is playing politics instead of doing his job to ensure a strong insurance market, where consumers benefit from many ways to help.

Commissioner Ricardo Lara is refusing to approve plans that have been on his desk for more than two years. As a result, the market is not limited, and suppliers are releasing or reducing – reducing the availability and options for consumers.

Due to a significant decrease in driving during the COVID-19 pandemic, auto insurers have provided billions of dollars in reimbursements to millions of California drivers.

Today, Californians are driving back to pre-pandemic levels. But unfortunately, the risk of car accidents has increased, and across the country, car accident deaths have increased dramatically with the largest annual increase. Renovation costs have also increased due to inflation and disruption.

Yet for the past two years, Commissioner Lara has refused to review more than a dozen pending auto insurance claims filed by state insurance officials – ignoring insurance plans that collectively cover about 75% of California drivers.

As a result, many California insurers pay more for their claims than they receive. This imbalance threatens the supply chain.

Now, California is on the brink of a car safety crisis where options may be limited for consumers.

Commissioner Lara’s complete refusal to even consider any change is creating an environment where California insurers cannot continue to do business.

As an independent insurance agent on the front lines, I have already seen the consequences of Lara’s inaction. Any further delays will lead to a looming crisis where Californians will have fewer options to protect their vehicles and families.

In the past few months, we have seen various types of insurance take steps to stop or reduce the sale of new car insurance due to market pressures. Some of their accomplishments include:

  • Stop selling personal lines laws in California;
  • Eliminate monthly payment options;
  • Suspension of sales of all new motor vehicle policies;
  • Closing brick and mortar offices;
  • Insurers are removing their companies from search engines to reduce their new business;
  • Eliminating recovery procedures when a customer’s premiums are not paid on time.

Commissioner Lara’s inaction directly affects consumers’ access to remedies. As long as he continues to ignore his legal responsibility to ensure a healthy insurance market, the opportunity for consumers to get a car will continue to decline.

It is time for the Commissioner to do the work he was appointed to do. His department should review the information provided by the funders that explains the cost of paying the consumer demand. It must agree on rates that are necessary to compensate consumers for their insurance claims.

Acting quickly is essential to avoid a high-profile problem, where consumers struggle to find the auto insurance they need.

Bob Teshima is the President of Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of California and Principal at George Petersen Insurance Agency.


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