CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 1996
Each arrived at 20th Century Insurance Co.'s headquarters in Woodland Hills with an individual tale of woe: an earthquake-damaged house unrepaired after 900-plus days, furniture and rugs ruined by asbestos, an insurance claim of $175,000 that remains unsettled. All 40 members of the Northridge-based group CARe, or Community Assisting Recovery, identified a common culprit: 20th Century.
November 3, 1994 |
The state Insurance Department on Wednesday gave 20th Century Insurance Co. a Nov. 14 deadline to pay--in either a lump sum or the first of installments--the $120-million rebate it owes policyholders under Proposition 103, the 1988 rate-rollback initiative.
June 11, 1994 |
Standard & Poor's on Friday again lowered its rating of the claims-paying ability of 20th Century Industries' two insurance units, citing their earthquake-depleted surplus. Another major rating firm, A.M. Best, said it plans to take similar action Monday. A downgrade can hurt a company's sales or its ability to raise money from investors or lenders, but analysts were doubtful whether Friday's action will have much impact on 20th Century.
August 16, 1994 |
In an unusual proposal to bolster the capital of earthquake-ravaged 20th Century Industries' two insurance units, the state Insurance Department, 20th Century and two consumer advocacy groups have together endorsed a temporary 6% increase in the companies' auto insurance rates, effective Sept. 10.
December 1, 1992 |
Insurance industry lawyers on Monday accused Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi of exceeding his authority under Proposition 103 by trying to use the rate-rollback initiative to limit insurers to profit levels below those allowed low-risk public utilities. A lawyer for Garamendi countered that his rules for implementing the measure approved by voters four years ago would let the industry as a whole achieve the same 10% return on equity that it earned throughout the 1980s.
February 27, 1993 |
In a stunning setback for Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, a Superior Court judge on Friday rejected his regulations for implementing Proposition 103, the sweeping insurance rate rollback initiative, ruling that they are unconstitutional. The decision, in a challenge by 20th Century Insurance Co. of Woodland Hills, means that the bulk of the rebates that consumers voted themselves in the 1988 initiative will be further delayed and may be far smaller than expected.
September 12, 1995 |
Not that he needs reminders of the Northridge earthquake, but every morning William Mellick, chief executive at 20th Century Industries, gets one as he walks into his Woodland Hills office. Quake repairs are still going on at the headquarters building; plywood covers windows, wires are run out of some windows and up to the roof, and yellow caution tape closes off walkways. But a green-colored building inspection tag on the front door reads, "No Apparent Structural Hazard."
June 10, 1994 |
In a move certain to shake up the Southern California insurance market, earthquake-battered 20th Century Insurance Co. said Thursday that it will stop selling earthquake policies immediately and phase out all homeowner coverage over the next two years. The big insurer's exit increases fears that consumers--especially in the Los Angeles Basin--will have trouble finding earthquake insurance.
May 2, 1990 |
An underground needle keeps popping corporate balloons at 20th Century Insurance Co. despite the company's best efforts to blunt it. For three years, workers have stashed copies of an underground newspaper, dubbed 20th Century RagTime, in elevators, on desks and even in lunchroom refrigerators at California's sixth-largest insurer. The two-page paper is packed with mock interviews, spoofs and jibes at what the editors consider stodgy management policies.