By Shiloh Wallack
On October 14, 2022, Department of Insurance (DOI) Commissioner Ricardo Lara announced several appointments to various boards and committees within DOI in an effort to meet DOI’s consumer protection goals. These appointments included naming three members to the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP) Advisory Committee, three members to the Curriculum Board, and an additional member to the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) Governing Committee.
The DOI’s consumer protection goals include an overarching vision of a healthy insurance industry in California. “Their advice and diverse perspectives are critical to our work protecting consumers across our state through preserving a robust, educated producer workforce,” said Commissioner Lara after the announcement of the appointments.
Originally, the California State legislature created CAARP as a helping hand for automotive insurance. Many individuals have extraordinary circumstances that prevent them from obtaining automotive insurance. Recognizing that, CAARP was generated to offer automotive insurance for those who fell into the “extraordinary circumstances” category, such as not being able to obtain insurance due to a poor driving record. Contemporaneously, the California Low-Cost Program, overseen by CAARP, had the added benefit of offering affordable liability insurance to those who were eligible. The three members include Doug Heller, Director of Insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, who was reappointed to the CAARP Advisory Committee in the public member representative seat, with a term ending on November 10, 2023; Cynthia Strathmann, Executive Director for Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, reappointed to the CAARP Advisory Committee in the public member representative seat, with a term ending on November 10, 2023; and Bernardo de la Torre, owner of law Offices of Bernardo de la Torre in Lamirada, joining the CAARP Advisory Committee in the public member representative seat with a term ending on November 10, 2023.
The Curriculum Board is in charge of pre-licensing as well as continuing education “for agents and brokers to uphold professional standards that protect consumers.” Commissioner Lara appointed a new member to the Curriculum Board to help develop standards for providers and instructors who offer courses and other training to licensed agents and brokers. The newly appointed member, Michael Lujan, Principal Consultant of Michael Lujan Consulting Group, LLC, joins the Curriculum Board in the life agent trade association representative seat, with a term ending on October 14, 2025.
Finally, the WCIRB Governing Committee is integral to all things workers’ compensation related. Aside from workers’ compensation being a highly sought-after benefit among employees, it is also required that all California employers provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees under California Labor Code Section 3700. WCIRB sets policy, oversees management, and reviews all issues involving workers’ compensation insurance premium rates, classifications, rating plans/systems, manual rules/policy, and endorsement forms. Lynne Davidson, President of Tito’s Tacos Mexican Restaurant, has been reappointed to the WCIRB Governing Committee in the insured employer representative seat, with a term ending on October 14, 2024.
For more information on the boards and new appointees, click here.