Judge Denies State Farm’s Bid to Stop California Rate Reduction Order

California Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal has denied State Farm’s emergency request to stay Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones’s order directing State Farm to reduce homeowner and renter rates by 7 percent, and issue refunds totaling more than $100 million to State Farm’s policyholders.

While the court set a hearing for Dec. 16 on State Farm’s motion for a stay, the rejection of the emergency order means the rate order that the commissioner issued in November will go into effect on Dec. 13 as scheduled.

Jones ordered the rate reduction after considering voluminous evidence and actuarial analyses presented during a lengthy hearing process that revealed State Farm’s rates were excessive and unjustified, according to the California Insurance Department.

State Farm had requested a rate increase of 6.9 percent. Based on the evidence presented during a rate filing public hearing, however, the commissioner determined that rates State Farm is currently charging are excessive.

Jones then ordered State Farm to reduce its homeowner insurance rate by an average of 5.37 percent, its renter insurance rate by an average of 20.39 percent, and its condominium insurance rate by an average of 13.81 percent — for a total average of 7.0 percent.

Source: California Department of Insurance