Insurance, or lack of it, touches virtually every aspect of the lives and businesses of Californians. California is the largest insurance market in the United States. In 2010 the California Department of Insurance, which oversees insurance regulation in the state, included over 1,300 employees, including over 80 attorneys. The Department regulates over 1,500 companies and over 340,000 brokers and agents. The Department’s budget is over $200 million per year. None of the Department’s budget comes from California’s general fund – fees and taxes imposed on the industry fund the Department’s budget. Direct premiums written in California exceed $115 billion per year. Gross premium taxes are the fourth largest source of General Fund revenue for the state ($2,135,000,000 in 2009-10). Only personal income tax, sales tax and bank and corporate tax contribute more. This is 4.65 times the tax revenue generated by California’s alcohol and tobacco taxes combined. The California State Bar includes a Standing Committee on Insurance Law.

The Center for Insurance Law and Regulation will post, from time to time, brief appellate updates reviewing recent rulings by the California Court of Appeal, the California Supreme Court, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, this site will include synopses of pending legislation. The Center will also post occasional research papers from students and others. Also, the Center will post useful web sites for the convenience of visitors to the site. Visitors are encouraged to forward other useful sites of which they are aware for consideration for inclusion.

Santa Clara University School of Law hopes the Center and this web site will further the teaching of insurance law and help forward thoughtful consideration of the many issues impacting insurance in California.

Robert W. Peterson
Professor of Law
Director, Center for Insurance Law and Regulation
Santa Clara University School of Law
Santa Clara, CA 95053

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