Insurance Commissioner Lara Names Members to Statewide Boards to Drive Forward Consumer Protection Goals – California Department of Insurance

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News: 2022 Press Release
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today announced several appointments to help drive forward the California Department of Insurance’s mission to protect consumers. These appointments include naming three members to the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP) Advisory Committee, one member to the Curriculum Board, and one member to the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) Governing Committee.
“I am very pleased to announce these appointments to the CAARP Advisory Committee, the Curriculum Board, and the WCIRB Governing Committee,” said Commissioner Lara. “Their advice and diverse perspectives are critical to our work protecting consumers across our state through preserving a robust, educated producer workforce and an overall healthy insurance industry in California.”
The California State Legislature created CAARP to provide auto insurance for motorists unable to obtain coverage in the private market due to their driving records or other extraordinary circumstances. One program within the plan — the California Low Cost Auto Program — aims to provide affordable liability insurance to income-eligible good drivers by assigning them to private insurers based upon the companies’ share of the auto insurance market. The CAARP Advisory Committee provides policy advice to Commissioner Lara on matters affecting the operation of its programs.
The Curriculum Board oversees the development of prelicensing and continuing education curriculum for agents and brokers to uphold professional standards that protect consumers. This includes a list of preapproved courses of study as well as courses of study for professional designations. This Board also develops standards for providers and instructors who offer courses and other training to licensed agents and brokers.
The WCIRB Governing Committee sets policy, oversees WCIRB management, and reviews all issues involving workers’ compensation insurance pure premium rates, classifications, rating plans, rating systems, manual rules and policy, and endorsement forms. The WCIRB is a private organization licensed by the Department of Insurance for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and compiling rating data, with funding coming from assessments of its insurance company members. All workers’ compensation insurance companies in California are required by law to be members of the WCIRB.  
Public members of the CAARP Advisory Committee receive two hundred fifty dollars per meeting. All other positions are uncompensated.
The next CAARP Advisory Committee meetings will be held on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 and Wednesday, November 16, 2022. The next Curriculum Board meeting will be held on Thursday, October 20, 2022, and the next WCIRB Governing Committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 14, 2022. More details are available at www.insurance.ca.gov/boards.
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Media Notes:
Newly appointed members include:
 
CAARP Advisory Committee:
Doug Heller is Director of Insurance for the Consumer Federation of America. Heller has authored op-eds, articles, and reports on auto insurance pricing in the United States, overseen regulatory challenges to insurance company rates and practices, and provided expertise in insurance-related litigation. Previously, he served as the Executive Director of Consumer Watchdog. He is also an appointee to the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance. Heller has been reappointed to the CAARP Advisory Committee in the public member representative seat, with a term ending on November 10, 2023.
Cynthia Strathmann is Executive Director for Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE), a non-profit economic justice organization that advocates for tenant rights, healthy housing, and equitable development in Los Angeles. Formerly, Strathmann was a Research and Policy Analyst for Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) and is also a former Research Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California where she managed a National Institutes of Health-funded study of South Los Angeles families and health disparities. Strathmann has been reappointed to the CAARP Advisory Committee in the public member representative seat, with a term ending on November 10, 2023.
Bernardo de la Torre is owner of Law Offices of Bernardo de la Torre in La Mirada, a law firm specializing in the representation of injured workers and founded in 1985. De la Torre is a member of the California Applicant Attorneys Association Board of Directors and is a founding member of LatinoComp, which is a non-profit workers’ compensation professional organization. He is a former Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Pro Tem and is a recipient of the Attorney of the Year Award from the Mexican American Bar Association of Los Angeles County in 2011. De la Torre joins the CAARP Advisory Committee in the public member representative seat with a term ending on November 10, 2023.
 
Curriculum Board:
Michael Lujan is Principal Consultant of Michael Lujan Consulting Group, LLC, which provides health insurance consulting services to insurance carriers and enrollment related projects with a focus on sales strategy and sales channel optimization. Previously, Lujan was the inaugural Director of Sales for Covered California, in which role he created the curriculum required to certify licensed agents to enroll in the program and successfully trained, certified, and appointed more than 14,000 agents in the first year. He is a member and past president of California Agents & Health Insurance Professionals (CAHIPP) and is also a board member of the Employee Benefits Planning Association. Lujan joins the Curriculum Board in the life agent trade association representative seat, with a term ending on October 14, 2025.
 
WCIRB Governing Committee:
Lynne Davidson is President of Tito’s Tacos Mexican Restaurant. Davidson has been a board member of the California Restaurant Association for the past 28 years and is a past board chair of the Los Angeles chapter of the California Restaurant Association. She was recognized by the California Small Business Association as Senate District 30’s Small Business of the Year in 2018. Davidson has been reappointed to the WCIRB Governing Committee in the insured employer representative seat, with a term ending on October 14, 2024.
 

Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation’s largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.
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