SACRAMENTO — Sen. Ted Gaines (R-Roseville) on Feb. 20 introduced legislation that would save ratepayers money on their insurance premiums by mandating that the Department of Insurance automatically accept any rate-decrease application from an insurer.
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“Let’s cut the bureaucracy and get some money back into people’s pockets,” said Gaines. “If an insurer wants to lower rates, I want consumers to benefit immediately, without Department of Insurance delay.”
Senate Bill 1173 would streamline the existing rate-reduction process. Currently, an insurer that wants to change a rate has to file a complete rate application with the Insurance Commissioner, which can trigger hearings and other administrative hold-ups that keep rates unduly high for extended periods, even when the insurers want to offer lower rates to their customers. Gaines’ bill is a common-sense change that recognizes the reality of rate reductions.
“I can understand some procedural safeguards for rate increases, but who wants to wait to get a rate reduction?” said Gaines. “The Commissioner’s office may get even more rate authority this year. It’s critical we act now so consumers aren’t robbed of potential savings by a slow and cumbersome process that stands in the way of Californians paying less for their insurance.”
Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.