Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of October 16, 2023

California — The State’s New Diversity Index: California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announced the launch of the inaugural Insurance Diversity Index, a groundbreaking benchmarking tool designed to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in California’s insurance industry. Initial findings of the trailblazing initiative were unveiled at the 2023 Insurance Diversity Summit.

 “The Insurance Diversity Index represents a significant step forward in our ongoing efforts to create a more equitable and inclusive insurance industry,” said Insurance Commissioner Lara. “By providing a clear benchmark, we can inspire positive change and ensure that California consumers are served by companies committed to diversity and inclusion.”

The Insurance Diversity Index – spearheaded by the Department’s nationally-recognized Insurance Diversity Initiative and its Insurance Diversity Task Force – is a crucial initiative aimed at increasing transparency, measuring progress, and encouraging accountability within the insurance sector. By gauging insurance companies’ commitments to policies and practices that advance DEI in three key areas – diversity in the corporate boardroom, supplier diversity, and California community impact investments – the Index provides valuable insights into the industry’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusivity.

“Transparency and measurement are essential in holding the insurance industry accountable for its diversity commitments,” emphasized California Attorney General Rob Bonta. “The Insurance Diversity Index will empower consumers and stakeholders with information to make informed choices and drive progress.”

Commissioner Lara’s sentiments are shared by leaders on the Department’s Insurance Diversity Task Force, including newly-elected Chair Mark Morales who said: “This Index means that consumers can be better informed about their spending power, and it encourages insurance company leaders to match their intentions with actions.”

Key Highlights of the inaugural Insurance Diversity Index:

·    Levels of Distinction: Using a 100-point scale, companies can earn Bronze (61-70 points), Silver (71-80 points), Gold (81-90 points), or Platinum (91 – 100+ points) levels of distinction.

·    Setting the Tone at the Top: High-performing companies prioritize diversity, especially in their corporate boardrooms, demonstrating a commitment to intentional policies and practices.

·    Investing in Supplier Diversity: Leading companies recognize the value of supplier diversity and maintain robust programs and policies to support diverse businesses.

·    California Community Impact: Companies are evaluated on their contributions to historically underserved communities in California.

The full 2023 Insurance Diversity Index Report was made available to attendees at the Insurance Diversity Summit held in downtown Los Angeles. Members of the public can download the report starting October 13 at

The annual Summit is a free, dynamic event, featuring insightful speakers, matchmaking opportunities, and an extensive resource expo. Attendees have the chance to learn from industry leaders, explore opportunities for business growth, and engage in discussions that drive DEI initiatives forward.

The Summit’s welcome plenary also included leaders of the Insurance Diversity Task Force – Chair Morales and Vice Chair Rebecca Aguilera-Gardiner; Evelyn Boswell, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and Tracy Hernandez, founding CEO of BizFed. Linda Akutagawa, CEO of the Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, moderated a keynote discussion between Commissioner Lara alongside Paul Markovich, Blue Shield of California’s CEO to highlight best practices that set the pace for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the insurance industry.

California — Data Restriction in Vehicle Cabins: California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that gives consumers more control over data captured by in-cabin cameras in their vehicles.

The cameras — designed for monitoring where a driver is looking, or not looking, and to monitor their habits — can also be used to target advertisements and monetize companies.

The bill keeps companies from profiting from the data they collect from those cameras without the consent of the driver.

Source link: Insurance Journal —

California — Consumer Watchdog Sues Mercury Insurance:

Consumer Watchdog has filed a suit to stop the California Department of Insurance from allowing Mercury Insurance to raise rates. The suit says the company is overcharging, using misleading practices and discrimination against homeowners and motorists in California.

The Consumer Watchdog attorney of record is Benjamin Powell.

“Mercury has consistently refused to obey the rules California voters put in place with Proposition 103 to stop price-gouging and practices that discriminate against those who can least afford it,” Powell said. “Previous investigations and multimillion-dollar penalties have clearly failed to deter the company from wrongdoing. Mercury, as a repeat offender, must pay a steep price or no insurer will bother to obey the law. Consumer Watchdog looks forward to working with CDI prosecutors to bring Mercury to justice – which we believe means barring Mercury from doing business in the state.”

Source link: Insurance Business America —

Idaho — Be Prepared and Protect Your Finances in a Disaster: Every year, Idaho sees instances of all types of emergencies, including extreme weather and other unforeseen natural disasters. From floods to wildfires, and severe weather including winter storms and thunderstorms, it’s important to have a disaster plan in place as part of your emergency preparedness. One way to protect yourself and your family is to be ready before disaster strikes. If you’re wondering where to start, the Department of Insurance offers a few tips.

Preparations for Sheltering in Place

Financial Needs

Keep cash on hand. In case of an extended power outage, consider keeping a few hundred dollars of smaller bills in a waterproof and fireproof safe in your home.

Build your emergency savings fund. Experts recommend saving enough to cover 3 to 6 months of expenses, if possible, to help you bounce back after a natural disaster.

Review insurance coverage. If disaster strikes, you’ll want to be able to repair, rebuild or replace damaged or destroyed property.

Review insurance policies annually (life, health, auto, homeowners or renter’s) and update coverage, if necessary.

Complete a home inventory checklist.

Learn about disaster relief and the National Flood Insurance Program to check into flood insurance in your area.

General Preparedness

Stock up on food and water. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests storing 1 gallon of water per person per day. Store enough emergency supplies for each person for at least 3 days and up to 2 weeks or more. Have a supply of nonperishable foods on hand in secure tubs and cans, and don’t forget a can opener.

Prepare for power outages and have a preparedness kit ready. Have extra batteries on hand, a flashlight and a battery-powered or hand crank radio. Stock your first aid kit with different-sized bandages, antiseptic ointment and sanitizer.

Use the FEMA’s customizable Basic Disaster Supplies Kit list.

Preparations in Case You Need to Evacuate

We rarely have much notice if a call comes to evacuate, so having a few things ready beforehand can save you some frustration.

Financial Needs

Create an Emergency Financial First Aid Kit. Create an emergency financial first aid kit, which should include your household, financial and legal information. Keep important documents in your emergency kit (like deeds; titles and policies; bank accounts; adoption records; birth, death, and marriage certificates) in a fireproof and waterproof box in your home or in a safe-deposit box at your financial institution.

General Preparedness

Have a “Go Bag” ready. Having a “Go Bag” prepared ahead of time, with items like your cell phone and charger, medicine, first aid and sanitizer, some nonperishable food essentials and important documents/information (e.g., insurance and bank accounts, photo IDs, Social Security cards) included. Make sure any physical copies are stored in a waterproof container. Websites such as, The Spruce, and CNET offer more suggestions for what to include.

Make sure everyone understands your emergency plan. It’s important that everyone in your household knows where your safe place is, especially if you become separated. Designate an out-of-town emergency contact—a person to contact if you need to leave the area.

Have a contact list. Have a list with contact information for:

Family members and phone numbers

Your employer


Banking institutions

Insurance company and agents

Health care providers

Friends and neighbors

Place of worship

(The American Red Cross has a printable emergency contact card template you can use.)

Sign up to get alerts. If you have a smartphone, sign up to receive alerts for extreme weather and other emergencies and types of disasters.

Gas up your car. It’s a good idea to always keep your tank full, especially if you live in an area that has seasons of extreme weather.

Visit the DOI Consumer Affairs website for information on how to mitigate risks in and around your home before disaster strikes. And in the event of a disaster, our Post-Disaster Claims Guide will help you understand what to do after a natural disaster damages your home. It also gives helpful tools and tips to navigate the insurance claims process. For more information, contact DOI Consumer Affairs at 208-334-4250 or

Oregon – Work Comp Premiums: Each year, the Department of Consumer and Business Services adopts by rule the workers’ compensation premium assessment rate that is paid by all employers to fund workers’ compensation and workplace safety and health programs. In the “Permanent Rule,” filed with the Secretary of State on Oct. 13, 2023, the department explained that the 2024 premium assessment rate will remain the same as the 2023 rate.

Based on economic forecasts, department analysts recommended the premium assessment rate remain at 9.8 percent. Keeping the current rate of 9.8 percent will allow the department to maintain current service levels throughout 2024. Please refer to Exhibit 1.

Additional assessments to fund the Self-Insured Employer Adjustment Reserve and Self-Insured Employer Group Adjustment Reserve will remain the same for 2023. Please refer to Exhibit 2.

For more information regarding the rulemaking hearing held on Sept. 21, 2023, or to view the Permanent Administrative Order for Calendar Year 2024, please refer to: Premium assessment rulemaking : Oregon Workers’ Compensation Costs

The Department of Consumer and Business Services announced an average 6.7% reduction in the pure premium rates for employers in 2024. For more information: Oregon Workers’ Compensation Costs

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Oregon — Salem insurance agent Tricia Klock has license revoked for fraud, identity theft: The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) has revoked the license of Salem-based insurance agent Tricia Klock for committing fraudulent activities, including identity theft, misrepresenting details of insurance policies to her clients, and raising coverage on a vehicle after an accident.

The division took action Sept. 20 by formally revoking Klock’s insurance producer license and assessing $11,000 in fines. The consent order on the division’s website.

In April, Klock was convicted of four counts of ID theft, specifically converting the personal identification of each victim for Klock’s own use, “with the intent to deceive and defraud,” according to the consent order.

Klock misrepresented herself while doing business as an insurance agent, which DFR regulates. Klock violated several laws, including the following:

  • Falsely telling an insurance investigator that coverage increased prior to an accident
  • Instructing her client to falsely report to an insurance company claims investigator that Klock had previously contacted them about higher auto coverage
  • Falsely representing that an insurance policy included full coverage for all vehicles in a family
  • Increasing coverage for a family’s vehicles immediately after learning of a car accident
  • Falsely representing to her client that a payment made would be applied to insurance premiums
  • Lying about full coverage of an auto policy

Klock, who is also a travel agent, was accused in 2019 by former travel clients of stealing their money after not booking trips they paid for through her travel agency. According to her former clients, many had no places while others had no return trips booked in foreign countries.

About PIA Western Alliance

The Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance is a membership organization promoting and enhancing the success of independent agencies seeking to grow, learn and be heard within the industry.


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