Industry News

Homeowners insurers slash rates in California

Insurance commissioner says consumers will save $439 million annually

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Farmers Insurance -- California's second-largest homeowners insurer -- will lower its rates in the state by 18 percent, joining State Farm, Safeco, Hartford, USAA, Nationwide and Kemper in heeding Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi's call for lower rates. Garamendi, who will be sworn in as California's lieutenant governor Jan. 7, said the rate reductions by all seven companies will save homeowners $439 million a year on their insurance policies. Farmers' rate cuts apply to the company's Special Form, Protector Plus, Renters and Condominium Owners policies, and are likely to take effect in June, the Department of Insurance said in a statement. Farmers will increase the dual auto-home discount from 12 percent to 15 percent and provide discounts for newer and newly renovated homes. Farmers is also introducing a claim forgiveness policy for customers who remain claims-free for six or more years before filing a claim. After a study concluded that four of the state's insurers were...