California Commissioner of Insurance
The current commissioner is Dave Jones, a Democrat. He was first elected in November 2010 and took office on January 3, 2011. He will come up for re-election, if he chooses to run, in November 2014, and his term will end on January 5, 2015.
Jones previously served in the California State Assembly from 2004 to 2010. Previously, he worked as a legal aid attorney with Legal Services of Northern California, a non-profit, public interest law firm serving low-income residents in 22 California counties. He was also a special assistant and counsel to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno during President Bill Clinton's administration. Jones also sat on the Sacramento City Council from 1999 to 2004. He holds degrees from DePauw University, Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government. He and his wife, Kim, have two children.
The office of commissioner of insurance is established by California statute.
California Insurance Code, Section 12906
12906. The governmental agency unit heretofore known as the Department of Insurance in the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency is hereby made an independent department. The Department of Insurance is under the control of the Insurance Commissioner.
State law requires the commissioner to be "a person competent and fully qualified to perform the duties of the office" without specifically addressing what that means. Additionally, the commissioner may not have any personal financial interest in the California insurance industry. The commissioner must also fulfill the usual requirements for officers in California's civil service; he or she must be a resident of the state, at least 18 years of age, not a convicted felon, and not a member of the Communist Party or any other organization that advocates the overthrow of the U.S. government.
California Insurance Code, Section 12901
The commissioner shall be a person competent and fully qualified to perform the duties of the office. Neither the commissioner nor any deputy or employee shall during his or their tenure of office be an officer, agent or employee of an insurer or directly or indirectly interested in any insurer or licensee under this code, except (a) as a policyholder, or, (b) by virtue of relationship by blood or marriage to any person interested in any insurer or licensee.
Like all elected California executive officials, the insurance commissioner may not serve more than two terms.
The commissioner, as head of the California Department of Insurance, is responsible for regulating the state's insurance industry. The department licenses insurance providers, approves all rate or premium increases, investigates consumer complaints and allegations of fraud, analyzes insurance policy issues, and supervises the financial well-being of insurance companies. The department is also responsible for winding down the operations of bankrupt insurance companies and liquidating their assets. It also publishes a variety of information for consumers, including insurance news, guides and legal info.
- Consumer Services & Market Conduct
- Community Relations Branch
- Rate Regulation
- Office of the Ombudsman
- Policy and Regulations
- Conservation and Liquidation
In 2010, the commissioner received compensation in the amount of $139,189. The commissioner's salary, like that of all other state elected officials, is determined by the California Citizens Compensation Commission on an annual basis. The last time the commissioner's compensation was changed was 2009, when the office's salary and benefits were cut by 18 percent.
Sacramento office address:
300 Capital Mall, Suite 1700
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 492-3500
Fax: (916) 445-5280
- ↑ California Department of Insurance, "About the Commissioner," accessed June 29, 2011.
- ↑ California Insurance Code, "Division 3, Chapter 1, Section 12906," accessed June 29, 2011.
- ↑ California Insurance Code, "Division 3, Chapter 1, Section 12901," accessed June 29, 2011.
- ↑ California Government Code, "Sections 1020-1042," accessed June 29, 2011.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 California Insurance Code, "Division 3, Chapter 1, Section 12900a," accessed June 29, 2011.
- ↑ California Insurance Code, "Division 3, Chapter 1, Section 12900b," accessed June 29, 2011.
- ↑ California Department of Insurance, "About Us: Organization," accessed July 7, 2011.
- ↑ Council of State Governments, "Book of the States 2010 -- Table 4.11," accessed June 23, 2011.