Proposition 103, enacted in California in 1988, requires approval by the California Department of Insurance before implementing property and casualty rates. Proposition 103 also allows for policyholders to participate in the process setting rates for auto and property insurance. Since being enacted, one way policyholders have been able to intervene on issues related to insurance rates has been through the courts. Further, the California Court of Appeal has opined that the “purpose of intervener fees is evidently to encourage customers to participate in insurance rate proceedings by compensating them for their contribution.” Empowerment Foundation v. Quackenbush, 57 Cal. App. 4th 677, 686 (1997),
In January 2015, the California Department of Insurance reported on a decision in the Sacramento Superior Court, entitled Mercury v. Jones, which placed limitations on the advertising costs insurers can pass to consumers through insurance premiums. Specifically, the Mercury court held that limitations should be put into place to prohibit insurers from passing costs on to policyholders related to corporate sponsorships, purchasing luxury boxes at corporate events and insurers paying for their names on stadiums and arenas. The Mercury court upheld the insurance commissioner’s decision requiring insurers to decrease overall homeowners’ insurance rates by approximately 5 percent.