The California Department of Insurance has been around since 1868 protecting the rights of insurance customers in the state. The responsibility of enforcing a strong and successful marketplace is a large one, since California insurance covers so many people. Duties of the California DOI are wide ranging. One of the most important is the oversight of insurance regulations; they make sure that everyone is following the rules. They also ensure that all statutes protecting consumers are enforced and instruct those consumers as to their rights through brochures, their website, and community meetings.
The whole insurance industry in the state of California is under the authority of the California Department of Insurance. They are in charge of the licensing exams for all brokers and agents in the state, currently topping 340,000. With the number of insurance companies topping 1,500, the charge of licensing them falls to the DOI as well. Because of the large amount of enforcement needed, the California DOI employs more than 1,300 workers charged with this licensing, investigating any fraud, and running the daily operations for the company.
Steve Poizner is currently the California Insurance Commissioner, working with a $200 million budget every year. Mr. Poizner appoints experienced personnel to many important committees and advisory boards within the California Department of Insurance. These boards and committees are in place to ensure that California insurance is fair and well represented.
Proposition 103, passed in 1988, not only helps to fund the California DOI, but also made some important changes to their functions. The Commissioner position was changed from being Governor-appointed to someone who is elected by the people. Prop 103 also expanded the jurisdiction of the California Department of Insurance to cover automobile insurance, property insurance, life insurance, and they must pre-approve the premium rates for property and casualty insurance.
There is a wealth of knowledge to be found through the website for consumers, insurers, agents, brokers, senior issues, fraud and most anything else you are looking for. For instance, one can search for California auto insurance with all reputable companies listed right on the website. There is also a glossary of terms, information on finding agents, and just about anything one needs to help them find California auto insurance. If you are looking for homeowners insurance you have many of the same resources at your fingertips.
The Fraud Department researches a plethora of insurance crimes with the intent of protecting consumers from both economic hardship and suffering. The Fraud division investigates crimes relating to faulty insurance claims while the Investigation Division looks for violations including, but not limited to, senior citizen abuse and deceptive insurance practices. The Commissioner oversees these departments and assures the California public that the California insurance system is working in their best interest.
The California Department Of Insurance (DOI) can be reached at
Consumer Services Division
300 South Spring Street, South Tower
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(Calling from within CA)
California Health Insurance Resources