Prior Approval Rate Filings

COMMERCIAL package filings and PERSONAL AUTOMOBILE rate filings require the prior approval of the California Insurance Commissioner’s Rate Regulation Division.

The submission of a rate filing is made in the San Francisco Rate Filing Bureau. The Intake Unit processes the filing and verifies that you have submitted the necessary original documents, the appropriate prior approval rate application form and supporting ratemaking data justifying your request. The review is not of the submission, rather to insure all the documents required by the analyst are provided. If the submission is complete, the Rate Filing Bureau will issue a Public Notice of Insurance Company Rate Filing.

The rate filing submission is then assigned to a Department analyst for review. The Rate Regulation Division has 60 days to review the filing and approve the filing or issue a notice of hearing. If an approval letter or notice of hearing has not been sent out by the Rate Regulation Division within 60 days after public notice, the filing is deemed approved.

Its rare, but anyone can request a hearing on the merits any rate filing within 45 days after public notice is given. A hearing must commence within 180 days of receipt of the filing by the San Francisco Rate Filing Bureau.

The procedures are straight forward and the analysis comprehensive. Unfortunately, the bottlenecks encountered will bring the review and approval up to the limits provided by law and too many time applicants are asked to withdraw the submission and re-file or face a denial and the clock starts to run again. Anticipating the problems and close monitoring of the status of the file will normally insure approval within the time limits of the statute. A knowledgeable and persistent advocate will usually get the job done.