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Wildfire evacuees may be entitled to additional living expenses from insurance companies

July 30, 2010 1 comment

SACRAMENTO (Press Release)–California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner reminded residents who have been evacuated due to the recent wildfires (including the Crown Fire, West Fire and Bull Fire,) that they may be eligible for reimbursement for additional living expenses due to mandatory evacuations. Commissioner Poizner also encouraged all Californians to make sure their insurance policies are updated and to conduct a home inventory today.

“Anyone who has been forced to evacuate their home due to the recent wildfires should check their insurance policies. Many homeowners policies cover additional living expenses that result from mandatory evacuations – including hotel stays and extra food costs. If any evacuees have insurance questions, I encourage them to call the Department of Insurance at 800-927-HELP.”   

Many residential homeowners insurance policies cover what is known as ALE, or additional living expenses. This permits homeowners to maintain their normal standard of living by covering the increased living expenses incurred as a result of damage caused by the fire or a mandatory evacuation. ALE coverage typically includes extra food costs, increased housing costs, furniture rental, relocation and storage costs, telephone installation and extra transportation costs to and from school or work, after the deductible is reached.

A free home inventory guide is available on the Department of Insurance website or by calling the CDI Consumer Hotline at 800-927-HELP.  

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Preceding provided by California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner

Poizner announces rate reduction for Farmers Insurance policy-holders

July 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Steve Poizner announces rate reduction

LOS ANGELES (Press Release)–California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced on Tuesday that hundreds of thousands of Farmers Insurance customers are eligible to receive an average rate reduction of 14.5 percent and a one time 10 percent insurance premium rebate, worth a combined total of up to $100 million.

“Farmers Insurance’s $100 million rate reduction is great news for consumers who we know are feeling the brunt of the state’s faltering economy,” said Commissioner Poizner at a press conference overlooking a Los Angeles freeway. “Californians deserve to have as many insurance companies competing for their insurance business as possible. I’m glad Farmers Insurance is a part of this trend.”

Customers of Farmers Insurance are insured through one of their two major auto insurance subsidiaries, Farmers Insurance Exchange and Mid-Century Insurance Co. Tuesday’s rate cut announcement applies to those under the Farmers Insurance Exchange banner. Farmers Insurance customers insured by the subsidiary, Mid-Century Insurance Co., are already receiving the new lower rate.                                                                                                                             

Those currently insured by Farmers Insurance Exchange and renew their policies between July 15, 2010 and Jan. 15, 2011 will receive a one-time 10 percent rebate on their premiums. That rebate is estimated to be worth approximately $50 per insured car or $32 million. In addition, those same customers will also receive an ongoing rate cut of approximately 15 percent worth an estimated $72 million.

Below is a summary of the rate decrease by media market:

Media Market Percent Rate Reduction
Los Angeles 15.8%
San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose 16.1%
San Diego 14.9%
Sacramento 15.1%
Fresno, Visalia 9.8%
Palm Springs 16.4%
Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo 7.3%
Bakersfield 6.1%

Overall, Farmers Insurance insures about 2 million cars in California. Its Farmers Insurance Exchange subsidiary insures approximately 640,000 vehicles statewide.

 Since Commissioner Poizner took office, he has worked to ensure an efficient and competitive auto insurance market and auto insurance rates have decreased by more than $1.3 billion.

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Preceding provided by State Insurance Commissioner Poizner

California insurance companies already divesting Iran-related assets

July 1, 2010 Leave a comment

SACRAMENTO (Press Release)–On the same day President Obama is expected to sign a tough new law expanding sanctions against the Iranian government, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced that his relentless focus on reducing the exposure of California policyholders to risky Iran-related investments resulted in insurers selling nearly one fifth of the assets the industry holds in the 50 companies the California Department of Insurance (CDI) has identified to be doing business with Iran’s nuclear, energy and defense sectors in the first quarter of 2010.

“In the weeks before my order to disqualify risky Iran-related investments from their books took effect, insurance companies sold hundreds of millions of dollars of investments in companies that prop up the oppressive Iranian government,” said Commissioner Poizner. “This proves that insurance companies can do the right thing and make safe and profitable investments without having to resort to investing in companies that actively do business in rouge elements of the Iranian economy.”

As of March 31, 2010, CDI ordered statement disqualification for holdings in the 50 Iran-related companies. A detailed analysis indicates that at the end of 2009, insurers licensed to do business in California held $2 billion of investments in the 50 companies. As of March 31, 2010, those holdings had dramatically decreased to $1.6 billion. To put these numbers in context, in 2009 – prior to Commissioner Poizner’s initiative – insurers doubled their investment in Iran-related companies to $2 billion. In the first three months of 2010, insurers reversed course and sold 20 percent of these holdings.

In April, the Wall Street Journal reported that Iranian sanctions at the federal level had yielded only modest tangible results. At that time, existing U.S. sanctions had led to less than $43 million in Iranian money frozen – approximately a quarter of what Iran earns in oil revenue in a single day.

However, President Obama is expected to sign the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act today, a new law that punishes foreign financial and energy firms that invest in Iran. The United Nations and European Union have also both recently expanded their sanctions to increase pressure on the Iranian government.

Commissioner Poizner has taken the lead in protecting California consumers by encouraging insurers to reduce investment holdings in the 50 companies on the CDI investment list. In April, he announced that more than 1,000 insurers licensed in California had pledged to forgo future investments in the identified companies. At that time Commissioner Poizner also released a list of companies that would not agree to an investment moratorium. These insurance companies include MetLife, Safeco and Hartford. The complete list can be found by selecting this link.

Commissioner Poizner first announced his Terror Financing Probe in June 2009 to review compliance with a recently-enacted California law that prohibits insurers from investing in designated state sponsors of terror. As part of a data call issued by the Commissioner, insurance companies were required to identify direct investments in designated sectors of the Iranian economy and indirect investments in companies doing business in those sectors. In December 2009, the Department announced that insurers reported no direct investments in Iran and therefore were in full compliance with state law prohibiting those types of investments. A CDI review of insurer financial statements, however, uncovered billions of dollars of indirect investments in companies doing business with the Iranian oil and natural gas, nuclear and defense sectors.

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Preceding provided by California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner

 

Poizner lauds California’s ‘drive less, pay less’ insurance program

June 29, 2010 1 comment

SACRAMENTO (Press Release) –Insurance Commissioner Poizner announced on Tuesday  that the Automobile Club of Southern California has submitted an application to offer an innovative program that rewards California drivers who voluntarily drive fewer miles with lower auto insurance rates.

“The voluntary pay-as-you-drive initiative is a cutting-edge program that will allow insurers to offer plans based on more accurate mileage, so that people who choose to drive less will pay less for auto insurance,” said Commissioner Poizner. “The regulations I finalized last year allow insurers to offer this innovative option without compromising consumer privacy. I’m pleased to see that Auto Club of Southern California plans to offer this kind of coverage to policyholders. I hope other insurers follow suit.”

The Auto Club of Southern California is the second insurer to submit a rating plan in which drivers’ auto insurance rates will depend on actual mileage driven instead of estimated mileage. The new approach to rating has been made possible by the pay-as-you-drive regulations introduced by Commissioner Poizner. The regulations went into effect in October 2009.

Assuming that the Auto Club of Southern California obtains approval from the Department, its customers will have an option to remain under the current estimated mileage program, in which mileage is estimated by the policyholder and self-reported to the insurer, or they may move into one of two new verified mileage plans: “odometer verified” or “telematics verified.”

Customers who opt into the “odometer verified” plan will report their exact mileage to the insurer, as indicated by the odometer. Mileage will be less expensive under the “odometer verified” plan than under the current estimated mileage plan. Customers who opt to participate in the “telematics verified” plan will have their mileage verified through a technological device. Mileage will be less expensive under the “telematics verified” plan than under the “odometer verified” plan.

Additional details on the type of device used in the “telematics verified” plan are not yet available, although CDI regulations explicitly prohibit insurers from using a technological device to gather vehicle location data for rating purposes.

The filing is now under review by the Department of Insurance. This new plan proposed by Auto Club of Southern California must be approved by Commissioner Poizner before being placed on the market for consumers to purchase.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance submitted an application to sell this kind of insurance in May 2010. The filing is currently under review.

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Preceding provided by California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner

A good day for Jewish incumbents, but not for other Jewish candidates

June 9, 2010 Leave a comment

By Donald H. Harrison

Donald H. Harrison

SAN DIEGO – Jewish incumbents on San Diego County ballots won election or renomination to their seats in California’s primaries on Tuesday, but most Jewish candidates running for open seats fell short of the mark, or placed second for runoff spots. San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis won outright reelection in a nonpartisan race. U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, Congress Members Susan Davis and Bob Filner, and State Assembly member Marty Block all won renominations in their respective Democratic party primaries. Howard Katz, in an unopposed Democratic primary, won the right to oppose Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, setting up a contest between members of the Jewish and Lebanese-American communities.

Among Jewish hopefuls falling by the wayside were State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner who lost in an expensive Republican primary contest for governor to Meg Whitman; Orly Taitz, who sought the Republican nomination for Secretary of State; Mike Schmier who placed way back in the GOP race for attorney general; and David Nussbaum who was well behind the pack in the nonpartisan contest for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

That trend held up in local contests as well: In the 36th State Senate District, Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone came in second to Assemblyman Joel Anderson for the Republican nomination; in the 76th Assembly District, Naomi Bar Lev placed third for the Republican nomination, and in the 6th San Diego City Council District race, Howard Wayne placed behind Lorie Zapf. Because neither Wayne nor Zapf had a majority, they will have a runoff election in November to replace termed-out City Council Member Donna Frye.

In contests in which major Jewish figures played behind-the-scenes roles, there were mixed results. Former County Sheriff Bill Kolender saw his hand-picked successor, Bill Gore, win easy election as sheriff. On the other hand, San Diego City Council member Marti Emerald was unsuccessful in persuading the voters to block the proposal to make the “strong mayor” system of government permanent and to return instead to having a city manager serve as the chief executive of the municipality.

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Harrison is editor of San Diego Jewish World

Most insurance companies agree not to invest in companies doing business with Iran

May 13, 2010 Leave a comment

SACRAMENTO (Press Release)–California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner on Thursday announced that 1,010 insurance companies – more than 75 percent of insurers licensed to do business in California — have agreed to forgo future investments in 50 companies identified as doing business with Iran’s nuclear, energy or defense sectors.

“This is a great victory for California consumers and sends a strong message to the regime in Iran,” said Commissioner Poizner. “More than 1,000 insurance companies have done the right thing and agreed that not another dime of their investments will go towards propping up that oppressive regime.”
 

As of March 31, 2010, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) disqualified an estimated $6 billion in holdings in the 50 Iran-related companies. This estimate is based on 2008 data, the most recent available information to be analyzed.

“With Tehran continuing its headlong rush to go nuclear, with Holocaust denier Ahmadinejad threatening genocide against Israel, with millions of Iranian people seeking to free themselves from the yoke of the Ayatollahs, it is outrageous that these companies have decided that it’s business as usual and will continue to invest in companies that actively support the Iranian government,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

“Commissioner Poizner should be commended for his leadership on this issue. All we have seen from the United Nations and the Obama administration and Congress is mostly talk. In California, we have real action and tangible results.”

Insurer investment in the 50 companies on the CDI investment lists totaled $1.8 billion during 2008 and averaged approximately $1 billion per year from 2005-07. Given this record, the decision by more than 1,000 licensees to agree to the investment moratorium means hundreds of millions of investment dollars will likely be diverted from these companies in the coming years.

California has the 4th largest insurance market in the world – and as a whole, insurers are the largest investor group in the global economy, with an estimated $3 to $4 trillion in investments.

Commissioner Poizner also released a list of companies who would not agree to the moratorium. These insurance companies include MetLife, Safeco and Hartford. 

Earlier this year, Commissioner Poizner announced that 100 percent of the 1,306 insurance companies licensed in California responded to his request to provide data on their investments with companies doing business with Iran’s, nuclear, defense, and energy sectors.

Commissioner Poizner first announced his Terror Financing Probe in June 2009 to review compliance with a recent California law that prohibits insurers from investing in designated state sponsors of terror. As part of a data call issued by the Commissioner, insurance companies were required to identify their direct investments in designated sectors of the Iranian economy and indirect investments in companies doing business in those sectors. In December 2009, the Department announced that insurers reported no direct investments in Iran and therefore are in full compliance with state law prohibiting those investments. But the Department uncovered billions of dollars of indirect investments in companies doing business with the Iranian oil and natural gas, nuclear and defense sectors.

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Preceding provided by California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner

Poizner announces arrests in alleged auto collision scams

April 22, 2010 1 comment

SAN DIEGO (Press Release)–Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced on Wednesday the arrests of eight suspects in connection with an auto fraud ring case.  The individuals arrested under Operation Hit and Run are suspected of faking traffic collisions and filing fraudulent personal injury claims with insurance companies. Since October 2009, 11 suspects were arrested in connection with this fraud ring.
“Criminals who involve themselves in elaborate and dangerous schemes to make an extra buck are endangering their own lives and the lives of other drivers,” said Commissioner Poizner. “I am pleased with the hard work of CDI investigators and fraud task force members who uncovered this fraud ring.”
 

On April 21, the San Diego Automobile Insurance Fraud Task Force arrested eight suspects. The arrests relate to a series of staged accidents where suspects faked traffic collisions, were transported to a local hospital for treatment and filed personal injury claims with the insurer. Based on arrest warrants obtained on October 29, 2009, the San Diego Automobile Insurance Fraud Task Force arrested a total of 11 defendants in relation to this investigation and charged 83 felony counts. 
The arrests are tied to five separate staged traffic collisions. The collisions all have a similar fact pattern of a vehicle being struck by an abandoned vehicle that was previously reported stolen. The suspects to be arrested are all connected by family relationships, police contacts, and connections to the primary suspect in this case, Jay Stoney Anderson.

In all five traffic collisions, there were identical motives and facts of loss. The collisions were allegedly staged and police were called to the scene. When the police arrived, the vehicle at fault was always determined to be abandoned at the scene and had previously been reported stolen by the registered owner. In each case, the suspects claimed to be injured and were transported via ambulance to a local emergency room for treatment. The suspects each filed personal injury claims with the insurer and failed to reimburse the hospital for the outstanding bill. The total loss in this case exceeds $200,000.

CDI launched an investigation when Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Progressive Insurance Company notified the Department of possible fraud. The Special Investigation Units of these companies met with representatives of the San Diego Automobile Insurance Fraud Task Force to share information. The information provided later identified a criminal ring suspected of staging more than eleven collisions over a one-year period. Additional information in support of this investigation was provided by Special Investigation Units from Republic Western Insurance Company, AIG, 21st Century Insurance Company, GEICO Insurance, and Nationwide Mutual Insurance.

The comprehensive investigation revealed multiple alleged connections between the suspects and Jay Stoney Anderson and the abandoned vehicles. In two of the collisions charged, the suspects allegedly used a rented U-Haul that was later reported stolen and used to stage the traffic collisions.
 
Arrested on April 21 were: Tamar Bradley, Wade Bradley, Michael Jones, Jiaire Martin, Rodney Martin, Shareese Spence, George Thomas, and Frank Torbert III.

The office of San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis is prosecuting this case. All suspects are expected to be arraigned in San Diego Superior Court.

The San Diego Automobile Insurance Fraud Task Force is made up of members from the California Department of Insurance, San Diego District Attorney’s Office, California Highway Patrol-Border Division, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Commissioner Poizner oversees sixteen CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Nearly 2,800 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by CDI since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 – more arrests than have been made during any other three year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.

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Preceding provided by Steve Poizner, now a Republican candidate for governor.  He and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis both are members of the Jewish community.

460 insurance companies to boycott investments in companies doing business with Iran

March 26, 2010 Leave a comment

SACRAMENTO (Press Release)–Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced today that 460 insurers have agreed in writing to a moratorium on future investments in 50 companies identified by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) to be doing business with the Iranian energy, nuclear and defense sectors.

“This level of participation in the moratorium signals tremendous progress in our initiative to ensure that California policyholder dollars are not put at risk through investments in companies doing business with the Iranian nuclear, defense and energy sectors,” said Commissioner Poizner.

“We already know that 1,000 out of the 1,300 insurance companies licensed in California have no investments in any of the 50 Iran-related companies. Now, more than one third of the insurance companies have pledged not to make new investments in those risky companies helping to prop up the Iranian regime. It’s up to the other two thirds of the industry to do the right thing and agree to forgo future investments in Iran-related companies.” 

Insurers that have agreed to the moratorium include such well-known companies as Mercury Insurance, a prominent auto insurer; Zenith Insurance, a significant workers’ compensation insurer; and Anthem Blue Cross, the largest insurer in the individual health insurance market in California.

On Feb. 10, Commissioner Poizner released a list of 50 companies doing business in the Iranian oil and natural gas, nuclear and defense sectors.

Two significant milestones in the CDI Iran Initiative will be reached next week. First, as of March 31, no investment held by an insurer in any company on the list will be recognized on that insurer’s financial statements in California. Second, the Commissioner requested that all insurers licensed to do business in California agree to a moratorium on future investments in any of the companies on the list or in any affiliates owned 50 percent or more by those companies until either (a) Iran is removed from the United States State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism or (b) a specified company and its affiliates cease to do business with Iran’s oil and natural gas, nuclear, and defense sectors and is removed from the list.

Commissioner Poizner initially asked insurers to respond to the moratorium request by March 12. At the request of the insurance industry, he extended that deadline to April 2.  

CDI will release additional information regarding the insurance industry response to the request for an investment moratorium in the coming weeks along with other data on insurance industry investments in Iran. 

Earlier this year, Commissioner Poizner announced that 100 percent of the 1,327 insurance companies licensed in California responded to his request to provide data on their investments with companies doing business with Iran’s oil and natural gas, nuclear and defense sectors.

Commissioner Poizner first announced his Terror Financing Probe in June 2009 to review compliance with a recent California law that prohibits insurers from investing in designated state sponsors of terror. As part of a data call issued by the Commissioner, insurance companies were required to identify their direct investments in designated sectors of the Iranian economy and indirect investments in companies doing business in those sectors.

In December 2009, the Department announced that insurers reported no direct investments in Iran and therefore are in full compliance with state law prohibiting those investments. But the Department uncovered billions of dollars of indirect investments in companies doing business with the Iranian oil and natural gas, nuclear and defense sectors.

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Preceding provided by State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, who is also a Republican candidate for governor

Poizner says all insurance companies in California have reported their Iran-related holdings

January 9, 2010 Leave a comment

SACRAMENTO (Press Release)–California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner on Thursday  announced that the remaining 216 of 1,327 insurance companies licensed in California have responded to his request to provide data on their investments with companies doing business with Iran’s nuclear, energy and defense sectors.

Because all licensed insurance companies have now complied with the data call, the previously-scheduled Jan. 12 hearing for insurers to explain why they did not comply with the inquiry has been cancelled. 

“Completion of the data call is a huge first step in our efforts to identify and reduce Iranian-related holdings from the portfolios of insurance companies,” Commissioner Poizner said. “I’m pleased that insurance companies realized that attempting to obscure their investments in the Iranian nuclear, energy and defense sectors was plain wrong. I hope they will continue to do the right thing and work with us as we do whatever it takes to apply maximum pressure on the government of Iran to change its behavior.”

California Department of Insurance (CDI) personnel have been able to uncover more than $6 billion in investments in companies doing business with the Iranian energy, nuclear and defense sectors.

With all California insurance companies reporting, CDI will soon provide a list of companies that are doing business with the Iranian energy, nuclear, and defense industries. Many of these foreign companies are based in South America, China, Russia and Europe. They include such companies as Siemens, Statoil, Petroleo Brasileiro and Total SA. The list will be created using information from the data call and input from outside consultants and other experts.

At that point, insurance companies will be given 30 days to notify CDI in writing whether they will comply with the divestment request. Insurers will be given 90 days to eliminate indirect holdings in Iran from their portfolios.

For companies that do not voluntarily agree to divest, CDI will make public a list of these companies and provide the name and value of their Iran-related investments. Commissioner Poizner will also subpoena high-ranking executives of these insurance companies to testify under oath and ask them why they believe it is in the interest of California policyholders for their premium dollars to be invested in companies propping up Iran’s energy, nuclear, and defense sectors.

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Preceding provided by Commissioner Steve Poizner

Poizner announces crackdown on insurance companies investing with Iran’s business partners

December 2, 2009 3 comments

LOS ANGELES  (Press Release)–Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner on Wednesday announced at the Museum of Tolerance that insurance companies licensed to do business in California have admitted to holding $12 billion in investments in companies that do business with the Iranian energy, nuclear, banking and defense industries.

“I launched this effort six months ago to ensure insurance industry compliance with a new state law that prohibits California insurance companies from investing in countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism,” said Commissioner Poizner, “I also wanted to determine the amount of insurance premium dollars, if any, paid by California consumers that end up invested in companies that do business with the energy, nuclear, banking and defense sectors of the Iranian economy.

“As a result of this probe, insurance companies have reported $12 billion in investments in companies that do businesses with the Iranian energy, nuclear, banking and defense industries. Independent of the data call, at least $6 billion of insurer investments has been verified by my staff. With this new information, I call upon the insurance industry to do what’s right and divest themselves of these investments. If they do not do it voluntarily, I will use every tool at my disposal to force divestment.”

Specifically, the Department of Insurance (CDI) will soon provide a list of companies that are doing business with the Iranian energy, nuclear, banking and defense industries to insurance companies licensed to do business in California. Many of these companies are based in South America, China, Russia and Europe.  They include such companies as Siemens, Statoil, Petroleo Brasileiro and Total SA. The list will be created using information from the data call and input from outside consultants and other experts.

At that point, insurance companies will be given 30 days to notify CDI in writing that they will comply with the divestment request and disclose the value of the identified investments. Insurers will be given 90 days to eliminate those holdings from their portfolios.

For companies that do not voluntarily agree to divest, CDI will make public a list of these companies and provide the name and value of their Iran-related investments. Commissioner Poizner will also subpoena high-ranking executives of these insurance companies to testify under oath and ask them why they believe it is in the interest of California policyholders for their premium dollars to be invested in companies propping up Iran’s energy, nuclear, defense and banking sectors.

If after this hearing an insurer still refuses to divest, Commissioner Poizner will take all legal action available to him to effectuate divestment.

“The government of Iran continues its oppressive crackdown against its own people, and thumbs its nose at the international community over its expanding nuclear program,” said Commissioner Poizner. “Iran’s ambition to dominate the region under a nuclear umbrella is a very serious threat to this country and to people all over the world. It’s just wrong for consumers here in California to find out that their hard-earned money that they pay in insurance premiums are propping up the regime in Iran. We need to do whatever it takes to put maximum pressure on Iran to change its behavior.”

Non-Responding Insurance Companies

Out of 1,327 insurance companies licensed in California and required to respond to the probe, 1,111 have complied, but 216 did not respond at all. Commissioner Poizner will subpoena a representative sample of 10 of the non-responders to explain why they ignored this critical data call. That hearing will be held on January 12 in Los Angeles.

The 10 companies facing a subpoena are Travelers Indemnity Co., PMI Mortgage Insurance Company, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Farmington Casualty Company, Old Republic General Insurance Corporation, American Home Assurance Company, Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company, Insurance Company of the West, Medical Insurance Exchange of California and Sequoia Insurance Company. The Commissioner will pursue additional actions to ensure that the remaining 206 companies respond to the data call.

Terror Financing Probe – By the Numbers

  • Total Indirect Investments Reported by Insurance Companies: $12 billion
  • Breakdown by Sector:

Banking           $6,150 million

Defense          $40 million

Energy             $3,994 million

Nuclear            $147 million

Unclassified    $1,803 million

Total $12 Billion

  • Number of Companies Required to Respond to Data Call: 1,327
  • Number of Companies Yet to Respond: 216
  • Total Reported Direct Investments in Iran: $0
  • The California Department of Insurance has so far independently verified $6 billion in indirect investments, according to 2008 filings made by insurance companies.
  • Number of Companies holding the $6 billion in Indirect Iranian Investments based on 2008 filings: 341

Reactions to Poizner’s Iran initiative

Leaders in different communities  have immediately offered their support for the initiative, including:

“United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) applauds California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner for his effort to encourage insurance companies in California to divest from holdings in international corporations that support Iran’s petroleum, nuclear, defense, and banking sectors. UANI calls on all companies to cease doing business in Iran and supports divestment of corporations that persist in their dealings with Iran. In launching this initiative Commissioner Poizner not only demonstrates his understanding of the dangers posed by a nuclear-armed Iran, but also takes meaningful action to address the problem in a way that can bring about a change in Iran’s behavior. We commend Commissioner Poizner for his decision to implement this divestment initiative and call on all public leaders to use their good offices to apply financial pressure toward Iran.”

- Mark D. Wallace, President, United Against Nuclear Iran

“Today the California Department of Insurance issued a press release highlighting their state’s efforts to determine the extent to which insurers transacting business in California hold investments in companies that conduct business in Iran. We applaud the leadership of Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner on this sensitive and important issue, and we look forward to working with the Commissioner on a national level… Commissioner Steve Poizner and the California Department of Insurance have taken this principle to the next level – to determine if the insurance industry investing in companies with operations in Iran, including investments in securities denominated in Iranian currency (the Rial). The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is currently reviewing California’s methodology with an eye toward creating a complete and thorough analysis of compliance with state and national laws. “

December 2, 2009

- Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty

“We ought to do it through the states, but in a coordinated fashion…It ought to be a top priority for all Americans, including the insurance industry. If none of the forms of deterrence that we’re using change Iran’s plans, then you have to say let them have nuclear weapons or we’re looking at a military strike.”

- Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario

“Short of military action, the only hope of stopping the Iranian regimes in-your-face nuclearization is through concerted international efforts to hurt the regime economically. As the United States and other world powers push for tougher economic sanctions, we commend Commissioner Poizner’s efforts in California.”

- Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center

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Preceding provided by California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner


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