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Ruling will allow mandated State Farm rate cuts in California

A California judge denied State Farm General Insurance Co.'s request to block state-mandated rate reductions for homeowners and renters insurance in advance of a court hearing on the matter.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones' decision to cut the company's homeowners rates by an average of 7% will take effect Dec. 13.

State Farm had asked the state for a 6.9% rate increase, but Jones said his analysis of the company's business showed that State Farm was overcharging. He ordered the rate reductions and a refund of more than $100 million in premiums that he considered excessive. State Farm filed a complaint against him in San Diego County Superior Court seeking an annulment of his ruling. The company asked a judge to keep the rate reductions from taking effect before a court hearing on the complaint scheduled for Dec. 16.

Judge Katherine Bacal denied State Farm's request for an emergency stay.