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Regulatory Contact

The regulatory aspects of the insurance business are both complex and esoteric. The good news for M&R’s insurance-related client base – insurers, reinsurers, wholesale and retail producers and surplus line brokers, among them – is that our Regulatory & Administrative Practice Group specializes in such matters.

The firm’s insurance expertise dates back to our founding in 1999, and since then we’ve represented clients in virtually every segment of the industry – property and casualty, life, health and disability, managed care, reinsurance and excess and surplus lines – in regulatory and administrative cases, including those involving state departments of insurance nationwide.

From rate and form filings, market conduct examinations and compliance disputes, to DOI investigations, accusations, complaints and agent/broker licensing, M&R’s regulatory and administrative attorneys have done it all. And we’ve helped to make and change the law along the way. The firm has been instrumental in passing and opposing legislation of importance in the insurance space, and has created meaningful case precedent by way of numerous published opinions (some of which has served to overturn unconstitutional laws). And despite frequently arguing against state insurance departments, we’ve earned their trust and respect due to our unrivaled credibility and recognized integrity.

As reflected on our other practice and industry pages, M&R’s regulatory and administrative know-how goes beyond insurance, and we’re frequently retained to represent non-insurance clients against claims brought by the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Real Estate (DRE) and the Department of Consumer Affairs, to name a few. Still, it’s the firm’s stellar insurance work that has come to define the Regulatory & Administrative Practice Group.

Areas Of Expertise

California Department of Insurance Litigation: Filed a writ of mandate on behalf of several industry trade associations challenging the authority of the California Department of Insurance to impose examination fees upon California insurers. The robust opposition to the legality of the relevant regulations resulted in the CDI withdrawing them.

Divestiture: Advised leading financial institution with respect to its divestiture of a life insurance company, and provided counsel in connection with required regulatory approvals.

Insurance Brokerage Enforcement Action: Obtained the dismissal of allegations against a large regional insurance brokerage accused by the California Department of Insurance of having inadequate customer service standards, “dipping” into trust funds worth millions of dollars, and employing unlicensed insurance professionals. By way of its enforcement action, the CDI unsuccessfully attempted to revoke the brokerage’s license and put it out of business.

Insurance Brokerage Enforcement Action: Represented an insurance brokerage subject to an illegal search by the California Department of Insurance, which search was conducted without a warrant and resulted in a CDI enforcement action seeking to revoke the brokerage’s license and a fine for minor administrative violations. Successfully argued that the search constituted a violation of the Fourth Amendment, an argument that an administrative judge, trial court and appellate court agreed with. Consequently, the enforcement action was dismissed and the CDI’s search procedures were corrected.

Insurance Company Administrative & Regulatory Enforcement Action: Represented a national insurance company in a case against the California Department of Insurance, which was filed in response to an enforcement action that sought significant changes to the insurer’s business practices and a $25 million fine for its alleged violation of Proposition 103 (pertaining to automobile insurance rates). The court ruled in the insurance company’s favor, finding that the CDI’s was attempting to enforce an “underground regulation” which was illegal because it was not the law. The enforcement action against our client was therefore dismissed. 

Lender Placed Insurance: Advised the nation’s largest insurance companies (and several other smaller ones) relative to the issuance of lender placed insurance. Toward that end, provided counsel regarding state regulatory and rate issues.

License Revocation Actions: Successfully defended several insurance agents and brokers in license revocation administrative actions based on the producers’ prior criminal convictions and their improper "transaction" of insurance without a license.

Premium Payments: Represented a major life insurer in an action against a California nonprofit retained as a third party administrator to process life insurance premiums for certain employees of the City of Los Angeles. The case stemmed from the TPA’s fraudulent conversion of premium payments to its own use, and involved prolonged negotiations with the City of Los Angeles. These negotiations led to another TPA assuming responsibility for the business and a resolution of the dispute.

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