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SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 23 -- Consumer Watchdog issued the following news release:
Consumer Watchdog has petitioned Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones to hold public hearings on the excessive rates of three top homeowners insurers - Allstate, CSAA, and Liberty Mutual.
Additionally, Consumer Watchdog petitioned the Commissioner to reject CSAA's (Northern California Auto Club) request to hike its tenants insurance rates by 6.9% overall. CSAA's tenant policyholders who are not AAA members, and thus not eligible for a newly proposed AAA 5% discount, could see premiums rise by as much as 12% under CSAA's proposal. View the petition here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/csaapfh.pdf
"These homeowners insurers are enjoying double-digit profits while paying out less than 50 cents in claims for every premium dollar they collect," stated Pamela Pressley, Consumer Watchdog Litigation Director. "We call on the Insurance Commissioner to require these companies to submit their books to public scrutiny so that consumers can receive the premium reductions to which they are entitled,"
According to the Consumer Watchdog petitions:
* During 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, Allstate's homeowners insurance lines' loss & defense cost ratios calculated by calendar year radically dropped to 48.6%, 48.4%, 43.3%, and 39.4%, respectively. At the same time that Allstate's loss & DCCE ratios have been plummeting, they have enjoyed skyrocketing profits. According Consumer Watchdog's actuarial consultant, Allstate gained underwriting profits of approximately 25.5% in 2013. View the petition here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/allstatepetition.pdf
* During 2011, 2012 and 2013, CSAA's homeowners insurance lines' loss & defense cost ratios calculated by calendar year radically dropped to 43.8%, 38.3%, and 39.9%, respectively. At the same time that CSAA's loss & DCCE ratios have been plummeting, they have enjoyed skyrocketing profits. According to Consumer Watchdog's actuarial consultant, CSAA gained underwriting profits of approximately 25% in 2013. View the petition here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/csaapetition.pdf
* During 2011, 2012 and 2013, Liberty Mutual's homeowners insurance lines' loss & defense ratios calculated by calendar year were 25.5%, 36.5%, and 40.7%, respectively. At the same time that Liberty Mutual's has experienced low loss & DCCE ratios, they have enjoyed skyrocketing profits. According to Consumer Watchdog's actuarial consultant, Liberty Mutual gained underwriting profits of approximately 34% in 2013. View the petition here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/libertymutualpetition.pdf
According to a recent analysis by Consumer Watchdog, several top homeowners insurers are experiencing declining losses while enjoying skyrocketing profits. As a result, they should be lowering homeowners' premiums. Instead, many of these top homeowners insurers have not changed their rates in over a year and are charging consumers excessive rates. See Consumer Watchdog's analysis of the top 25 homeowners insurers here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/sites/default/files/resources/cahomeownerslossexperience2013.pdf
Proposition 103, approved at the ballot by voters in 1988, requires auto, home and business insurance companies to open their books and publicly justify rate changes before they take effect. It also allows members of the public to challenge insurance rates that are excessive. Consumer Watchdog challenges to auto, home, medical malpractice and earthquake rate hikes proposed by insurance companies but proven excessive have resulted in more than $3 billion saved for consumers since 2002.
A chart of the more than $3 billion saved by Consumer Watchdog over the last twelve years through rate challenges is available at: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/sites/default/files/images/RateSavingsChart-5-12-14.png
A November 2014 ballot measure - Prop 45 - would extend the same public justification and prior approval system to health insurance rates.
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