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AB-1931 Department of Insurance: licensee privacy.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/15/2020 09:00 PM
AB1931:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1931


Introduced by Assembly Member Voepel

January 15, 2020


An act to amend Sections 10095.7 and 11629.87 of, and to add Section 12931 to, the Insurance Code, relating to the Department of Insurance.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1931, as introduced, Voepel. Department of Insurance: licensee privacy.
Existing law creates the Department of Insurance, headed by the Insurance Commissioner, and prescribes the department’s powers and duties. Existing law requires the department to establish the California Home Insurance Finder and, on or before July 1, 2020, and at least annually thereafter, to update the finder with the names, addresses, phone numbers, and internet website links of licensed insurance agents and brokers. Existing law requires the department to provide on a consumer-oriented internet website a list of certified agents or brokers who may be contacted to purchase a low-cost automobile insurance policy. Existing regulations require the department to maintain a list of licensees that may be transmitted electronically or by regular mail upon request.
This bill would prohibit the department from including a licensee’s contact information on the California Home Insurance Finder, the low-cost automobile insurance list, the department’s internet website, or any other publicly available list if the licensee provides proof to the department that the licensee has been granted a protective or restraining order issued by a civil or criminal court. The bill would also require the department to delete a licensee’s contact information from those resources upon receiving proof that the licensee has been granted a protective or restraining order issued by a civil or criminal court.
Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 10095.7 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

10095.7.
 (a) The commissioner shall establish the California Home Insurance Finder on the department’s Internet Web site. internet website. The purpose of the finder is to connect homeowners in need of insurance assistance to an insurance agent or broker to assist in finding residential property insurance.
(1) The department shall annually survey licensed insurance agents, licensed insurance brokers, and admitted insurers in California regarding inclusion on the finder.
(2) On or before July 1, 2020, and at least annually thereafter, the department shall update the finder with the names, addresses, phone numbers, and Internet Web site internet website links, if the licensee has an Internet Web site internet website address, of the licensed insurance agents and brokers and admitted insurers for inclusion in the finder. The information shall be aggregated by ZIP Code within which the insurance agent, broker, or insurer maintains an office or sells policies, as well as by the languages in which the insurance agent, broker, or insurer may transact insurance. The department shall not include a licensee’s contact information on the finder, or shall delete a licensee’s contact information from the finder, if the licensee has been granted a protective or restraining order issued by a civil or criminal court, pursuant to Section 12931.
(3) The department shall use social media and other appropriate tools to make consumers aware of the California Home Insurance Finder. The department shall develop materials in the most common languages used in the state to facilitate access to the finder for non-English-speaking consumers.
(b) On and after July 1, 2020, an insurer shall provide to an applicant who is denied coverage, or to a policyholder whose policy is canceled or not renewed, information regarding the department’s California Home Insurance Finder. This disclosure may be provided jointly with the disclosure required by subdivision (h) of Section 10095.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11629.87 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:

11629.87.
 The department shall, in consultation with the CAARP Advisory Committee, establish and maintain a consumer-oriented internet website that provides all of the following:
(a) Referral to a list of certified agents or brokers with an office in the same geographic area as the consumer who may be contacted to purchase a low-cost automobile insurance policy. The department shall not include an agent’s or broker’s contact information on the list, or shall delete an agent’s or broker’s contact information from the list, if the agent or broker has been granted a protective or restraining order issued by a civil or criminal court, pursuant to Section 12931.
(b) Information about the eligibility requirements, benefits, and limits of the low-cost automobile insurance policy.
(c) Notification that if a consumer does not qualify for the low-cost automobile insurance policy, other policies may be available from producers or insurers, and directing the consumer to the department’s automobile insurance premium comparison internet web page.

SEC. 3.

 Section 12931 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:

12931.
 (a) The department shall not publish the contact information of a licensee on its internet website or on a publicly available list if the licensee provides proof to the department that the licensee has been granted a protective or restraining order issued by a civil or criminal court.
(b) The department shall delete the contact information of a licensee from its internet website or a publicly available list upon receiving proof that the licensee has been granted a protective or restraining order issued by a civil or criminal court.

SEC. 4.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Sections 1, 2, and 3 of this act, which amend Sections 10095.7 and 11629.87 of, and add Section 12931 to, the Insurance Code, impose a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:
To protect the safety and privacy of insurance producers who have been granted temporary restraining orders or emergency protective orders, it is necessary that their contact information not be published.