California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has named a new public advisor to assist members of the public and consumer groups with the Proposition 103 intervenor process, under which consumer groups can intervene in proceedings for insurance rate increases and decreases.
Jones named enforcement attorney Ed Wu to the post.
“I’m pleased to announce that I have appointed Ed Wu, an enforcement attorney and six-year veteran of the Department, as the new Public Advisor,” Jones said in a statement. “I’m hopeful that his appointment, combined with updated information about the intervenor process, will encourage additional public participation.”
Along with the appointment, Jones directed Wu to reach out to consumer groups to educate them about the rate application process.
“A nationwide consumer group has found that Proposition 103 has saved California consumers more than $68 billion,” Jones said. “Consumer groups are an essential part of the process of determining the right rate for insurance companies to charge consumers. Early in Proposition 103’s implementation, former Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush actively discouraged consumer groups from participating in the process. The intervention process requires significant analytical work, and I am confident California’s consumer groups can help the Department of Insurance save even more money for insurance consumers.”
Dating back to the program’s launch in 2003 along with Prop. 103, Santa Monica, Calif.-based Consumer Watchdog has been the most commonly listed intervenor, according to CDI’s list of intervenors.
That has caused some to question the program’s worth.
In May, State Sen. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego became the latest person to question intervenor fees, calling on CDI to review the program, which allows consumer groups to intervene in insurance rate cases. In February a website was launched attacking Consumer Watchdog and its use of intervenor fees.
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