A rumored legislative deal aimed at keeping home insurance companies from bailing on California is dead now that the deadline for a bill has passed. But a consumer group that has been attacking what it called a back-room insurance bailout plan warned Tuesday that those secret talks with the state’s Insurance Commissioner haven’t ended.
‘These negotiations were marked by secrecy and public interest advocates were barred from the room,’ Carmen Balber, executive director of Consumer Watchdog, said in a statement Tuesday. ‘Working in the dark from the insurance industry’s playbook to impose Florida-style deregulation in California isn’t how we’re going to solve this crisis and keep homeowners insured.’
A top insurance industry representative Tuesday denied companies were behind any secret dealings and blamed California’s collapsing insurance market on regulations more burdensome and bureaucratic than in other states.
‘If you believe that narrative, you are being fooled, the insurance industry did not draft an end of session legislative proposal,’ said Rex Frazier, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of California. He added that insurers would be stupid to pull back business in the state if they were making massive profits.