California Commissioner Under Fire for Enforcement Practices

California Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush is under fire for alleged enforcement inconsistencies. The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that Quackenbush reportedly ignored staff attorney’s recommendations to heavily fine three companies found to have low-balled claims following the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Instead, Quackenbush required State Farm, 20th Century and Allstate Corp. contribute to a research and education foundation. Part of the money contributed was spent on public service announcements featuring Quackenbush. Quackenbush said the donations to the foundation were an appropriate action, in that the research institution will study how to properly assess damage following a catastrophe. This is not the first time Quackenbush has been accused of using insurance monies to put his own face on television spots, thus furthering his own political career. Consumer advocates cried foul in the late 1990s after Prudential settled churning allegations in the state. Quackenbush was featured prominently in ads designed to inform Prudential insureds to join the settlement. State Assembly insurance committee Chairman Jack Scott, D-Altadena, has opened a probe into Quackenbush’s enforcement practices.