On October 3, 2013, state Senator Ted Gaines, Republican from Rocklin, made the announcement that he will be running for the office of California Insurance Commissioner. Senator Gaines announced it was his belief that the California Department of Insurance has become an unwieldy bureaucracy. One of his initial pledges was to crack down on lawsuit abuse saying that “the current Commissioner, Mr. Jones is far too cozy with trial lawyers.”
Senator Gaines also believes that opening the state of California up to more insurance carriers will create an atmosphere of greater competition thus bringing down the price of insurance coverage for all Californians. As far as his experience with the insurance industry here in California Senator Gaines has been operating a family owned insurance agency in the Sacramento area. It is interesting to note that Senator Gaines wife Beth Gaines, also serves in the California Assembly representing the 6th Assembly District.
Senator Gaines has stated that as the owner of an independent insurance agency, he has fought for his insureds for years to find the best company and coverage for his clients. As a claims adjuster I can appreciate that sentiment, my only issue with Senator Gaines has to do with those large insurance companies that have given to his campaigns in the past.
Project Vote Smart, located at (http://votesmart.org/) tells us that in the last election the Senator conducted he accepted contributions from the following:
Aetna Insurance Company $5,400.00
Blue Shield of California $5,000.00
Farmers Insurance Group $4,900.00
Allstate Insurance $4,500.00
Mercury General Corporation $3,900.00
Liberty Mutual Insurance $3,500.00
First American Title Insurance Co. $3,500.00
Pacific Life Insurance $3,000.00
Travelers Companies $3,000.00
The Hartford $2,000.00
As far as I can see, based upon the information given above, the Senator has established a very sound relationship with some of the largest insurance companies in this state and country which quite possibly could impact his decision making process.