State Insurance Dept. Rejects Petition

The state Department of Insurance has turned down an administrative petition by the Proposition 103 campaign and a coalition of consumer groups asking the department to establish regulations under the initiative to limit insurance company rights to cancel or refuse to renew auto insurance policies.

Department lawyer James W. Holmes wrote the petitioning parties that in light of the state Supreme Court's review of the constitutionality of Proposition 103, it would be "premature and precipitous" to define terms in the initiative, even though the high court has ruled that the cancellation and non-renewal parts of it are in effect.

"Further, while the department intends to enforce vigorously the limitation in (the measure) on non-renewal and cancellation, we are not persuaded that formal rule-making is needed to accomplish that objective at this time," Holmes declared in a letter rejecting the petition filed Jan. 18.

The groups had argued that Insurance Commissioner Roxani Gillespie had "failed to act decisively" to define what some of the terms of Proposition 103 mean. Holmes called those assertions "inaccurate and outdated" in light of recent action the department has taken against companies, such as Travelers, for failing to renew auto policies.

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