California homeowners' insurance companies may be making "excess profits," because their payments on claims have dwindled in the past two years while the money they keep has "soared," according to a report released today by the state's insurance commissioner. Beginning in 2004, loss ratios – the amount an insurer spends to pay the claims of its customers, as expressed as a percentage of its premiums – for homeowners' insurers dropped "markedly," according to the study commissioned by California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi. The study also addressed auto insurance. The commissioner said he would hold a rate reduction hearing July 20 to determine whether some of the rates consumers are paying are excessive and whether homeowners' and auto insurers should be ord...
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