Bills to Be Heard Next Week in Calif. Legislature

August 12, 2005

The Association of California Insurance Companies has released their weekly bill roundup. The following bills that will be heard next week in the California Legislature:

Senate Appropriations Committee – Aug. 15
AB 1183 (Vargas) Insurance Fraud. AB 1183 would extend the existing Jan. 1, 2007, sunset on the obligation of insurers to pay an annual fee of 30 cents for each vehicle insured. ACIC opposes the bill.

AB 1325 (Vargas) Motor Vehicle Speed Contest. B 1325 would increase the minimum jail time for a person convicted of engaging in a motor vehicle speed contest from one day to five days. 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 a state agency’s 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.

AB 1374 (Liu) Seismic Safety. AB 1374 would remove the 2007 sunset date for the Insurance Fund’s Seismic Safety Account, which was established to support the Seismic Safety Commission. ACIC opposes the bill.

AB 1459 (Canciamilla) Small Claims Court: Jurisdiction.AB 1459 would increase the jurisdiction of Small Claims Court from $5,000 to $7,500. ACIC opposes the bill.

AB 1474 (Maze) Provisional Licensing Program.AB 1474 makes two 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. ACIC supports the bill.

AB 1640 (Saldana) Insurance Claims Information.AB 1640 requires insurers to disclose to policyholders that insurers report any claim information to a claims database and include in the disclosure the contact information for the claims database. The disclosure must be made on the declarations page, in the Homeowners Bill of Rights and upon conclusion of any claim. ACIC opposes the bill.

Assembly Appropriations Committee – Aug. 17
SB 2 (Speier) Homeowners Insurance: Valuation: Continuing Education.SB 2 would, among other things, 1) require agent-brokers to be trained to evaluate replacement costs of structures as well as identifying experts for evaluating replacement costs of structures; 2) make the mediation program permanent for fire and earthquake declared disasters; 3) require a list of items, eligible for reimbursement for additional living expenses, be provided to an insured in the event of a claim. ACIC supports the bill.

SB 20 (Escutia) Auto Insurance: Low-Cost Policies.SB 20 would extend the existing sunset provision on the low-cost automobile insurance program from January 2007 to January 2011. The low-cost program now operates in Los Angeles and San Francisco counties. SB 20 would make the program a statewide program. Currently, in order to be eligible to purchase a low-cost program policy, a driver’s automobile must not have a value of more than $12,000. SB 20 would increase the value to $20,000. ACIC opposes the bill.

SB 150 (Escutia) Insurance: Adverse Underwriting Decisions.SB 150 would change notification requirements for adverse underwriting decisions made by auto and homeowners insurers. Rather than supplying reasons for the decision to insureds who submit a written request, SB 150 would require an insurer to provide written specific reasons for a declination, nonrenewal or cancellation. The requirement for written reasons would not apply if the consumer’s inquiry is solely oral. ACIC opposes the bill.

SB 422 (Simitian) Small Claims Court: Jurisdiction.SB 422 would increase the jurisdiction of Small Claims Court from $5,000 to $7,500. ACIC opposes the bill.

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