California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 447


Introduced by Assembly Member Maienschein

February 23, 2015


An act to amend Sections 679.71, 679.72, and 679.73 of, and to add Section 679.74 to the Insurance Code, relating to insurance.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 447, as introduced, Maienschein. Property insurance: discrimination.

Existing law prohibits an admitted insurer licensed to issue policies of residential property insurance from failing or refusing to accept an application for, or issuing a policy to an applicant for, that insurance, except as specified, or from canceling the insurance, under conditions less favorable to the insured than in other comparable cases, except for reasons applicable alike to persons of every sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation. Existing law provides that sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation shall not, of itself, constitute a condition or risk for which a higher rate, premium, or charge may be required of the insured.

Existing law also prohibits an application for one of these policies, or an insurance investigation report, from carrying any identification, or any requirement therefor, of the applicant’s sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation.

This bill would add certain other classifications and facts relating to the insured or the insured property to the categories that may not be used by an insurer for the purposes described above.

This bill would also prohibit insurers issuing policies of commercial insurance for multifamily housing developments intended for low and moderate income families or agricultural employees and their families, as specified, from using a prohibited underwriting classification, as defined, to fail or refuse an application or issue a policy to an applicant, to cancel or fail to renew a policy, to charge a higher rate, premium, or charge, or to impose different requirements, as specified.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 679.71 of the Insurance Code is amended
2to read:

3

679.71.  

No admittedbegin delete insurer that isend deletebegin insert insurer,end insert licensed to issue
4any policy of insurance covered by thisbegin delete chapterend deletebegin insert chapter,end insert shall fail
5or refuse to accept an application for, or to issue a policy to an
6applicant for, that insurance (unless the insurance is to be issued
7to the applicant by another insurer under the same management
8and control), or cancel that insurance, under conditions less
9favorable to the insured than in other comparable cases, except for
10reasons applicable alike to persons of everybegin delete characteristic listed
11or defined in subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 51 of the Civil Code;
12nor shall any of those characteristics, of itself, constitute a condition
13or risk for which a higher rate, premium, or charge may be required
14of the insured for that insurance.end delete
begin insert marital status, sex, race, color,
15religion, national origin, sexual orientation, creed, disability,
16familial status, medical condition, ancestry, or any other
17characteristic listed in Section 51.5 of the Civil Code or Section
1812920 of the Government Code; nor shall marital status, sex, race,
19color, religion, national origin, or ancestry, or any other
20characteristic listed in Section 51.5 of the Civil Code or Section
2112920 of the Government Code, of itself, constitute a condition or
22risk for which a higher rate, premium, or charge may be required
23of the insured for that insurance.end insert

24

SEC. 2.  

Section 679.72 of the Insurance Code is amended to
25read:

P3    1

679.72.  

begin deleteNo end deletebegin insertAn end insertapplication for insurance specified in this
2chapter or insurance investigation report furnished by an insurer
3to its agents or employees for use in determining the insurability
4of an applicant shallbegin insert notend insert carry any identification, or any
5requirement therefor, ofbegin delete any characteristic listed or defined in
6subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 51 of the Civil Code with respect
7to the applicant.end delete
begin insert the applicant’s sex, race, color, religion, national
8origin, sexual orientation, creed, disability, familial status, medical
9condition, ancestry, or any other characteristic listed in Section
1051.5 of the Civil Code or Section 12920 of the Government Code.end insert

11

SEC. 3.  

Section 679.73 of the Insurance Code is amended to
12read:

13

679.73.  

begin deleteNothing in this end deletebegin insertThis end insertchapter shallbegin insert notend insert prohibitbegin insert theend insert use
14in an application for insurance specified in this chapter of a
15question asking for the birthplace of an applicant ifbegin delete suchend deletebegin insert thatend insert
16 question is used only to identify the applicant and not to
17discriminate against the applicant.

18

SEC. 4.  

Section 679.74 is added to the Insurance Code, to read:

19

679.74.  

(a) This section shall apply to any policy of
20commercial insurance for multifamily housing developments
21intended for occupancy by persons and families of low and
22moderate income, as defined in Sections 50073, 50073.5, and
2350093 of the Health and Safety Code, or agricultural employees,
24as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1140.4 of the Labor Code,
25and their families that covers risks arising from the ownership,
26construction, habitation, or other use of real property designed for
27human habitation on either a temporary or permanent basis,
28including any liability for loss of, damage to, or injury to, persons
29or property that occurs on that real property.

30(b) For the purposes of this section, “prohibited underwriting
31classification” means any of the following:

32(1) All the protected classes in Section 679.71.

33(2) The income level or source of income, including, but not
34limited to, federal vouchers issued under Section 8 of the United
35States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1437f), of an individual
36or group of individuals residing or to reside upon property insured
37or to be insured by, a policy of insurance covered by this section.

38(3) The intended residency upon the property insured or to be
39insured by persons who require or will benefit from supportive
40services that may be provided on site.

P4    1(4) The fact that the construction or operation of the real
2property, or any portion thereof, is subsidized, financed, insured,
3or otherwise assisted by the federal or state government, or by a
4local public entity, as defined in Section 50079 of the Health and
5Safety Code.

6(5) The fact that an applicant or insured is organized under the
7Nonprofit Corporation Law (Division 2 (commencing with Section
85000) of the Corporations Code). The amount of rent charged to
9an individual or group of individuals residing or who will reside
10upon property insured or to be insured by a policy of insurance
11covered by this section.

12(6) The amount of rent charged to an individual or group of
13individuals residing, or who will reside, upon property insured, or
14to be insured, by a policy of insurance covered by this section.

15(c) An insurer meeting the criteria of subdivision (a) shall not
16use a prohibited underwriting classification to do any of the
17following:

18(1) Fail or refuse to accept an application or issue a policy to
19an applicant for, or otherwise make unavailable, any insurance
20covered by this chapter, unless the insurance is to be issued to the
21applicant by another insurer under the same management and
22control.

23(2) Cancel or fail to renew any insurance covered by this section.

24(3) Impose a rate, premium, or charge that is higher than that
25imposed with respect to other applicants, insureds, or insured
26properties.

27(4) Impose different requirements on an applicant for insurance
28covered by this chapter than it imposes on other applicants, except
29as provided in subdivision (d).

30(d) This section shall not be construed to prohibit any admitted
31insurer licensed to issue any policy of insurance covered by this
32chapter from extending preferential treatment to real property
33designed for human habitation that is assisted by the federal or
34state government, or by a local public entity, as defined in Section
3550079 of the Health and Safety Code, or other real property
36intended for occupancy by persons and families of low and
37moderate income, as defined in Section 50093 of the Health and
P5    1Safety Code, or agricultural employees, as defined in subdivision
2(b) of Section 1140.4 of the Labor Code, and their families.



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