News: 2016 Press Release

For Release: August 23, 2016
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Millions in savings for business and farm owners as commissioner approves reduced rates
Small businesses win, as 51 percent of businesses will see a rate decrease SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has approved rate reductions for a number of State Farm commercial policies that will bring millions of dollars in premium savings for tens of thousands of small businesses, farm owners, apartment owners, and condo associations across the state. 

“These State Farm commercial rate reductions are a big win for California’s small businesses and farm owners,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “The Department of Insurance reviewed the rate filings and we determined that in many cases rates should be lowered, resulting in total premium savings of $17 million.”

Voter approved Proposition 103 requires insurers to justify their rates and allow for consumer advocates to intervene in rate filings they believe are excessive. In this case, Consumer Watchdog intervened in three of six State Farm commercial rate filings on behalf of policyholders. The department’s independent actuaries reviewed the rate filings and the data State Farm submitted to justify their rates and found that several of the company’s requested rate increases should actually be reductions.

The company lowered their rates on those insurance products where the department found the data supported a reduction. Since Commissioner Jones took office in 2011, the department has reviewed more than 40,000 rate filings and saved consumers and businesses over $2.562 billion through rate reductions. Whether a particular policyholder receives a rate reduction and how much, depends on their individual policy. In other rate filing news – Commerce West submitted rate filings requesting double-digit rate increases for three of its personal private auto programs. When the department requested additional supporting data from the company and Consumer Watchdog petitioned the filing, the company elected to withdraw its rate filings. Media Notes: 

  • Apartment owner programs -7.1% reduction as of April 2016, estimated premium savings for 38,885 policyholders is $7.4 million.
  • Residential Condominium Homeowner Association program -6.0% reduction as of April 2016, estimated premium savings for 11,451 policyholders is $3,778,234. 
  • Mercantile/Services (small business owners) -4.0% reduction on 8/10/2016, estimated premium savings for 42,318 policyholders is $2,372,362. 
  • Personal Farm owners -29.9% as of 4/14/2016 estimated savings for 4,871 policyholders is $3,635,518.  

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $288 billion in premiums annually in California. In 2015 the California Department of Insurance received more than 155,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $84 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.