State Farm in court over insurance rates

Posted at 5:00 AM, Dec 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-08 18:47:19-05

UPDATE: The state's Department of Insurance announced Thursday afternoon that a judge has denied State Farm's emergency request to stay the order that was originally issued by state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

The Department of Insurance issued this statement:

Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal today denied State Farm's emergency request to stay a November order issued by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones that directed State Farm to reduce homeowner and renter rates by seven percent and issue refunds totaling more than $100 million to State Farm's policyholders. While the court set a hearing for December 16 on State Farm's motion for a stay, the rejection of the emergency order means the Commissioner's rate-order will go into effect on December 13th as scheduled.

"State Farm's lawsuit challenging my order is an attempt to weaken consumer protections provided by Proposition 103, and deprive consumers of a $100 million rebate and ongoing relief from excessive insurance rates," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

Commissioner Jones ordered the rate reduction, which is effective on December 13, 2016, after considering voluminous evidence and actuarial analyses that was presented during a lengthy hearing process, which revealed State Farm's rates were excessive and unjustified.

State Farm requested a rate increase of 6.9 percent. Based on the evidence presented during a rate filing public hearing, however, the commissioner determined that rates State Farm is currently charging are excessive. Specifically, Commissioner Jones ordered State Farm to reduce its homeowner insurance rate by an average of 5.37 percent, its renter insurance rate by an average of 20.39 percent, and its condominium insurance rate by an average of 13.81 percent -- for a total average of 7.0 percent.

State Farm is heading to a San Diego courtroom on Thursday hoping to get out of paying back tens of millions of dollars to California customers. 10News Reporter Jared Aarons has the story.