published on September 13, 2017 - 11:15 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed a bill introduced and authored by assemblymen Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) and Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals), adjusting an outdated insurance code.

Assembly Bill 407 repealed insurance code 9084.5 and adjusted 9095, and was written to accommodate the needs of Mennonite Insurance, which provides insurance to members of Mennonite Brethren and Anabaptist communities.

California insurance code allows fraternal societies like the Mennonite Brethren to have their own insurance companies, but limited the kind of policies they could provide.

“There’s a problem when the strangle hold of a government regulation prevents a time-tested business from serving its customers,” Patterson said.

Assembly Bill 407 sought to expand the list by including liability insurance in the policies they could sell.

Before AB 407, in order to provide that kind of policy to homeowners, Mennonite Insurance often had to find other insurers who would cover that gap.

According to Jerry Linscheid, general manager at Mennonite Aid Plan in Reedley, this often made getting insurance difficult for homeowners.

“It’s not a policy a lot of insurance companies like to write — they like to bundle it with something else,” Linscheid said. “Seeing the handwriting on the wall, we wanted to be able to provide that for our customers without relying on some other organization that might decide we’re not writing this kind of policy anymore.”

The bill to modernize the code passed with bipartisan support: 78-1 in the Assembly and 38-2 in the Senate.

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