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Farmers Insurance Exchange v. Superior Court

826 P.2d 730 (Cal. 1992)

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Farmers Insurance Exchange v. Superior Court

California Supreme Court

826 P.2d 730 (Cal. 1992)

Facts

The California attorney general (plaintiff) sued several insurance companies (defendants) in California state court, alleging violations of California’s unfair business practices statute. The attorney general alleged that the companies violated the statute by refusing to offer a good driver discount to all eligible applicants. Eligibility for the discount hinged on a number of factors that were determinable under state insurance regulations, including whether the insurers applied an unfairly discriminatory insurance rate. The defendants asserted that the court did not have jurisdiction until the state insurance commissioner heard the claims. California insurance regulations provided for a complaint process for any person “aggrieved by any rate charged, rating plan, rating system, or underwriting rule.” The regulations further provided for judicial review of any findings by the commissioner. The California Superior Court found that it had jurisdiction over the claims. The California Court of Appeal affirmed. The California Supreme Court granted review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lucas, C.J.)

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