Golden State insurance regulators say a proposed settlement they have negotiated with group disability insurers gives them much of what they want.
Insurance trade groups have emphasized a section in the proposed agreement that will require the California Department of Insurance to hold off from withdrawing approval of policies containing discretionary clauses until Hartford Life Insurance Company vs. State of California, a case filed in a state court in San Francisco, is resolved.
But California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi says the proposed settlement agreement will establish strong consumer protection standards for disability insurance policyholders.
The proposed settlement agreement “provides significantly more protection for consumers from arbitrary and harmful practices within the industry,” Garamendi says in a statement.
California regulators and the insurance groups and other groups that negotiated the proposed settlement hope to get court approval of the settlement Friday.
California regulators announced in October 2005 that they believed they had the right to withdraw approval for disability policies containing discretionary clauses, or clauses giving carriers wide authority to interpret contract language, and other provisions simply by sending a written notice.