Calif. Legislature Takes Action on Insurance Measures

June 13, 2005

The following bills were heard last week in the California legislature. Several measures are scheduled for consideration this week.

Senate Transportation Committee – June 7

AB 1474 (Maze) Provisional Licensing Program.
AB 1474 would make two important changes to California’s graduated driver license program. AB 1474 would extend from six months to one year when graduated drivers licensees are prohibited from transporting individuals under the age of 20. In addition, AB 1474 would expand the restriction on driving between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. AB 1474 passed the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee 10-3. The bill will be considered next by the Senate Appropriations Committee. ACIC supports the bill.

Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee – June 8

AB 873 (Bogh) Homeowners Insurance: Copies of Policy.
AB 873 would amend the California standard fire policy to require insurers to provide insureds with free copies of their policies within 30 calendar days of date of the request. In the event of declared emergencies, AB 873 would require insurers to provide insureds with free copies of their policies within 60 calendar days of the date of the request. AB 873 passed the Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee 11-0. The bill is now before the full Assembly. ACIC supports the bill.

Bills to be heard this week and ACIC’s positions:

Senate Judiciary Committee – June 14

AB 446 (Negrete McLeod) Licensees: settlements agreements.
AB 446 would prohibit any licensee regulated by a board, bureau or program within the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) from including a provision in the settlement of a civil action that 1) prohibits the other party from contacting, filing a complaint with or cooperating with DCA; or 2) requires the other party to withdraw complaint from DCA. ACIC is watching the bill.

AB 1133 (Harman) Evidentiary Privileges.
Under current law, the Evidence Code provides a privilege against disclosure of confidential information unless the privilege is waived by any holder of the privilege without coercion. AB 1133 would provide that the waiver of the privilege arises only when the holder has intentionally released a significant part of confidential information. The waiver cannot be accidental or inadvertent. ACIC supports the bill.

AB 1351 (Vargas) Office of Administrative Law: Regulations.
AB 1351 would establish a process in the Office of Administrative Law for the purpose of investigating state agency use and enforcement of rules and regulations that have not been adopted pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (i.e. underground regulations). ACIC supports the bill.

Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee – June 15

AB 778 (Mullin) Auto Insurance: In-Home Supportive Services.
AB 778 would prohibit an automobile liability insurance policy from containing a provision that excludes from coverage the policyholder’s use of the vehicle for performing in-home support services. AB 778 would also prohibit an insurer from declining, rating or canceling a policy on the basis that the insured is using the insured vehicle to provide transportation incidental to the provision of in-home supportive services. ACIC opposes the bill.

AB 1043 (Harman) Insurance: Unearned Premium.
AB 1043 would require all types of insurance policies to be subject to the same requirements for accounting for unearned premiums. AB 1043 would require an insured – upon request of the agent/broker or insured – to provide an explanation of the accounting of the premium refund. ACIC is watching the bill.

AB 1120 (Benoit) Auto Insurance: Assigned Risk Plans.
AB 1120 would change the premium levels that are used as criteria for appointments of insurers to the advisory committee of the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan. ACIC is watching the bill.

Report provided by Sam Sorich, president, Association of California Insurance Companies.

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