The withdrawal of major homeowners insurance companies in the California market made national headlines, but news just as concerning and impactful is California’s private passenger auto insurance market.
Much like the homeowners market, the PPA market has seen significant changes in recent years, contributing to a complex and shifting landscape that has insurers spinning their wheels.
One of the most notable changes was when the California Department of Insurance put a moratorium on PPA rate increases at the start of the pandemic. After Gov. Gavin Newsom’s shelter-in-place order on March 4, 2020, the number of miles driven dropped significantly, along with other notable measures of risk.
As insurers writing PPA and other impacted lines of business faced reduced exposure to loss, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara released bulletins 2020-3, 2020-4,2020-8 and 2021-03 (“Premium Refunds, Credits, and Reductions in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic”) requiring insurers to make appropriate adjustments and refund a portion of customer premiums.
Anticipating fewer accidents amid the lockdown, insurers readily agreed to give back roughly $14 billion nationally to policyholders in the form of cash refunds and account credits. Even after the remain