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Call Kurtis Investigates: CA insurance commissioner cracking down on auto insurers after viewers struggle to get policies

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CBS News Sacramento Live

SACRAMENTO — California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara issued a bulletin to car insurance companies over reports that drivers are having a tough time getting auto policies.

"These alleged passive-aggressive tactics by insurance companies to slow down drivers' access to coverage are unacceptable, dangerous, and will not be tolerated," Lara said. "I am taking action today to ensure these insurance companies are acting according to the law and giving drivers the coverage they are paying for at the rate they qualify for. We will continue to monitor the situation and take any and all steps necessary to protect California consumers."

The commissioner said some insurers are imposing waiting periods and questionnaires plus unreasonable application requirements for drivers to get a "Good Driver" discount.

"Some of these requirements include having to complete unnecessarily lengthy and/or confusing questionnaires, verify employment or school information, respond to physically mailed questionnaires despite applicants electing to receive documents electronically, provide information regarding excluded drivers living at the same address, and/or submit copies of applicants' utility bills, vehicle registrations, and/or photos of driver's licenses or vehicles, among other examples," a news release stated.

The California Department of Insurance said Lara's bulletin sets the stage for enforcement action against insurers. The department asks anyone with concerns over their car insurance to report it to them at 800-927-4357.

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