March 15, 1994 |
After more than five years of legal wrangling, an obscure company is taking center stage in the high-stakes battle over insurance reform in California. Since voters passed Proposition 103 in 1988, auto and property insurance heavyweights such as 20th Century and State Farm have been the most visible challengers of the measure that sought to rebate 20% in premiums to policyholders. Meanwhile, the Proposition 103 case of Amwest Insurance Group Inc.
February 25, 1994 |
On the urging of former Gov. George Deukmejian and the insurance industry, the California Supreme Court agreed Thursday to review a case that tests the Legislature's ability to exempt certain insurance companies from voter-approved rate rollbacks. Deukmejian, who appointed most of the court's justices, urged them to review the case on behalf of a surety insurance company whose owner contributed heavily to his political campaigns.
February 10, 1994 |
Assemblyman Burt Margolin on Wednesday proposed legislation to repeal recent state laws that he and consumer advocates say illegally dilute Proposition 103--the 1989 insurance rollback initiative--and cost Californians hundreds of millions of dollars.
February 1, 1994 |
Former Gov. George Deukmejian, now a lawyer in private practice, has signed on to represent an insurance company owned by his onetime leading campaign contributor in a case pending before the California Supreme Court, five of whose seven members he appointed. The insurer, Northridge-based Surety Co.
November 7, 1993 |
Early evening in Sacramento. Members of the Assembly Finance and Insurance Committee, looking tired and uncombed from a day of lawmaking, take their seats in Hearing Room 437 of the Capitol. Another dreary committee meeting in a legislative session that will extend far beyond this spring night. But there's something odd here.
October 13, 1993 |
Gov. Pete Wilson signed into law three bills that Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi--a likely contender for Wilson's job--said will cost California insurance customers hundreds of millions of dollars. Proposition 103 author Harvey Rosenfield also attacked the legislation Tuesday, saying it significantly weakens that 1988 voter initiative by watering down the commissioner's control over rates and relaxing antitrust standards designed to prevent insurance price fixing.
August 18, 1993 |
In the largest Proposition 103 settlement to date, Allstate Insurance Co. agreed Tuesday to rebate $110 million to California policyholders under the 1988 insurance rate rollback initiative. The 2.9 million refund checks, to be mailed within nine months, will average $66 for Allstate auto insurance customers and $25 for homeowner customers.
August 16, 1993 |
Safeco Corp. plans to pay $40 million to its California insurance customers in order to settle a four-year fight with state regulators. The payout was required under Proposition 103, a 1988 state ballot measure that required insurance rate reductions and some premium rebates. Since then, several companies have been arguing with California regulators over the amount of the rebate. A company spokeswoman said Seattle-based Safeco spent $2 million in outside legal fees on the fight.
June 26, 1993
Proposition 103 champion Harvey Rosenfield says he is leaving Voter Revolt, the organization that promoted the landmark 1988 ballot measure as a way to reduce auto insurance rates by 20%. Rosenfield said he will form a new group to fight the wars over putting Proposition 103 into effect and to contest a flood of insurers' requests for rate increases expected to come when a new law takes effect July 1.