Industry News

California homeowners could get insurance break

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California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi on Thursday said he will review and consider approving an average 22 percent homeowners' insurance rate cut for policyholders of United Services Automobile Association. The $55 million in proposed rate cuts by the state's fifth-largest homeowners' insurer would impact 182,000 households, according to the Insurance Department. The USAA rate cuts would mean customers would see average savings of around $244 to $381 annually, with the decreases likely taking effect on October 1. Garamendi applauded USAA's rate filing and proposed cut in premiums and urged other insurers to follow suit. A report commissioned by the California Insurance Department released in May charged that state 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." Beginning in 2004, loss ratios -- the amount an insurer spends to pay the claims of its c...