PIFPAC agents quickly and successfully organized around a recent issue we identified in the Rural Caucus of the California Democratic Party (CADem).
The Caucus proposed adding to the CADem platform:
“Prevent insurance companies from cancelling or declining to offer homeowner, property, and fire insurance policies, and bolster the state-funded insurance of last resort (e.g. FAIR Plan) to provide comprehensive coverage.”
PIFPAC was obviously concerned about CADem potentially adding something about preventing insurers from non-renewing people because it becomes more likely legislators will introduce bills on this topic.
State legislators have introduced a handful of similar bills already, prohibiting non-renewals, mandating discounts, and putting price controls for customers 65+ – PIFC has defeated every one of them.
Proposals such as this are additionally concerning because it shows a lack of recognition about where the insurance market currently is, and the forces that have caused so many insurers make incredibly difficult decisions to ensure they have financial resources necessary to protect customers going forward.
When this problematic proposed platform was identified, PIFPAC emailed all members looking for registered Democrats, and quickly identified many agents who joined the Rural Caucus and submitted feedback to the Platform Committee with preferred amended language.
A huge thank you to Anne Lintz, who drove to Visalia to attend the CADem meeting in person, allowing her to testify at the Platform Committee Friday night. Anne clearly illustrated insurers’ concerns, her experience as a small business owner in a rural community, and that the current state of the market is fixable. Her testimony, in addition to numerous letters PIFPAC Members sent to the Platform Committee were hugely impactful. Shortly after Anne spoke, the proponent of this idea spoke to the Platform Committee and said they would work with us to find suitable revised language.
PIFPAC then had great turnout Saturday morning at the Rural Caucus meeting, which was available in-person and virtually. The group had the opportunity to hear from Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, who told the Rural Caucus that to have a functioning insurance market, insurers must be able to make a profit, which they currently are not. To see the Commissioner level set to a group of Democratic activists was incredibly encouraging. There was discussion at the Rural Caucus meeting about the insurance market, and the Chair indicated to the group of attendees that the Caucus would work with the insurance industry to find more appropriate language.
Since then, Anne and PIFC Political Director Caylyn Wright had a sit-down meeting with the person in the Rural Caucus who suggested the proposed platform and had a very productive discussion. They will meet again in the coming weeks.
A huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to all the PIFPAC Members who engaged on this important issue. We could not have accomplished this without your help. Considering the number of letters that were sent before the Platform Committee meeting, they were clearly expecting us.
Everyone who joined the Rural Caucus, please stay engaged! We clearly have work to tell our side of the story. This is an opportunity to attend future meetings with the group. We are working on setting up a meeting with the Rural Caucus at the next CADem meetings November 17-19 in Sacramento.
We would be remiss to remind everyone, this activity was focused on advocacy within the California Democratic Party. But PIFPAC is NON-PARTISAN! We support Republicans, Democrats, and decline-to-state candidates throughout California. PIFPAC supports the best viable candidate that understands insurance and small business in any given district. Given California’s political diversity, candidates that earn PIFPAC support can be very different depending on where in California they are from.
Questions? Contact PIFC Political Director Caylyn Wright CWright@pifc.org.