Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Rocklin, recently announced his candidacy for California insurance commissioner.
“The insurance commissioner should work to protect consumers, keep rates low, and make it easier for companies to hire and retain workers,” Gaines said.
Gaines noted that under its current leadership, the California Department of Insurance has become a hostile bureaucracy that is driving companies out of the state.
“When the insurance commissioner pushes insurers out of California just to score political points, the result is less competition and ultimately fewer choices and higher rates for all our citizens,” Gaines said. “More competition means more choices and better rates for consumers.”
For nearly 30 years, Gaines has run a family insurance business, representing individuals and small business clients as an independent insurance agent.
Gaines also currently serves in the California State Senate, representing the 1st Senate District. Prior to his election to the Senate, he served in the State Assembly from 2006-11.
“As a family insurance agent, I’ve had to fight insurance companies on behalf of my clients,” Gaines said. “And as a state legislator, I work hard to fight big government bureaucracy on behalf of my constituents.”
In addition to encouraging competition and economic growth, Gaines also plans to focus on reducing fraud and abuse and removing politics from the Department of Insurance.
“When insurance fraud happens, everyone pays the price,” Gaines said. “I will work to increase criminal penalties for fraud and will aggressively prosecute those who prey on seniors and our most vulnerable citizens.”
“But there are other forms of abuse,” Gaines continued. “California is one of the most litigious states in the nation, and frivolous lawsuits are a significant cost driver in the state. We need to clamp down on lawsuit abuse, and we can start with the Department of Insurance where our current Insurance Commissioner is far too cozy with trial lawyers.”
Gaines said he will actively oppose an initiative sponsored by trial lawyers and supported by the current insurance commissioner that would put health insurance companies under the regulatory control of the Department of Insurance.
“This regulatory initiative is all about playing politics at the expense of California consumers,” Gaines said. “The insurance commissioner has a duty to protect consumers and foster a business climate that will improve our state’s economy. This important elected position shouldn’t just be a stepping stone to higher office.”