Property insurance companies are required to turn over claim materials to policyholders in California. Why wouldn’t all states have this requirement?
Within 15 days of a request, these documents must be submitted in California:
All documents relating to the evaluation of damages, including, but not limited to, repair and replacement estimates and bids, appraisals, extents of loss, drawings, plans, reports, third party findings as to the amount of loss, covered damages and cost of repairs and any other valuations , measurements and loss adjustment calculations of loss amount, covered damage and repair cost.1
A memo from the California Department of Insurance states the reason for the law and the exemption from documents that must be turned over:
The purpose of requiring insurers to provide claim-related documents is to allow claimants to understand (and potentially challenge) the basis for an insurer̵7;s claim assessment. Insurers should determine whether a particular document is a claims-related document with this intent in mind.
The standard form language in section 2071 exempts from the obligation to provide claims-related documents “[a]ttorney work product and attorney-client privileged documents, and documents indicating fraud by the insured or containing medically privileged information.’
In terms of transparency, this is a very good law. I’m surprised more states don’t require it.
Lack of transparency leads to mistrust and a deep sense of insecurity.
– The Dalai Lama
1 Cal. ins. Code § 2071.