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Calif. court upholds commissioner's regulation on homeowners insurance

The California Supreme Court ruled that state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has broad authority to adopt consumer protection regulations, including those related to insurers' replacement cost estimates in homeowners insurance.

The Association of California Insurance Companies and the Personal Insurance Federation of California filed a lawsuit in 2011 challenging Jones' authority to issue regulations that require insurers to provide replacement cost estimates that actually reflect the complete cost of rebuilding a policyholder's home after a fire.

Insurers were allegedly misleading consumers with incomplete home replacement cost estimates to undercut competitors with lower premium, according to a news release from the state's insurance department.