LOS ANGELES, CA | Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today announced the newest members of the Insurance Diversity Task Force and the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association’s (CLHIGA) Board of Directors.
“I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Fabiola Cobarrubias, a remarkable leader in the field of corporate governance, to the Insurance Diversity Task Force,” said Commissioner Lara. “She will help us push forward our goals of increasing diverse board leadership and insurance investment in underserved communities in the face of an ongoing pandemic that is devastating our low-income workers and their families.”
The Insurance Diversity Task Force is part of the Department’s nationally recognized Insurance Diversity Initiative that focuses on accelerating the rate of progress and equity within the insurance industry by diversifying representation among the boards of insurance companies and increasing procurement from businesses owned by women, LGBTQ+ people, veterans, disabled veterans, and historically underrepresented communities. On January 1, 2020, the Task Force was formally codified in statute following Governor Gavin Newsom’s signing of Senate Bill 534, sponsored by Commissioner Lara and authored by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena).
According to the latest California Insurance Diversity Survey data collected by the Department of Insurance – comprising the boards of over 250 insurance companies – diversity in the boardroom remains a critical issue. In 2019, board seats continue to be disproportionately represented by men, with an overwhelming 70% of seats occupied by men and only 15% of board seats occupied by directors from historically underrepresented communities. Meanwhile, fewer than 1% of board directors identified as LGBTQ+.
Commissioner Lara’s newest appointment to the CLHIGA Board of Directors is Sara Flocks, a policy advisor specializing in health care issues, to serve in one of two newly established public member seats. “I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Sara Flocks to the CLHIGA Board of Directors,” said Commissioner Lara. “She will represent the public’s interest and push for the strongest safety net possible so Californians are protected from loss in the rare event that an insurer becomes insolvent.”
CLHIGA consists of all insurance companies licensed to sell life and health insurance, and annuities in California, and it protects certain policyholders against a company’s financial failure. The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall oversight of CLHIGA, which includes approving contracts and reinsurance treaties, authorizing assessments, borrowing money, taking legal actions, and serving on committees that oversee audit and investment functions. The Board consists of up to thirteen member insurers who are selected by the board members and are subject to the approval of the Commissioner. AB 1104, which was authored by former Assembly Majority Floor Leader Ian Calderon and signed by Governor Newsom in 2019, became law in January 2021, adding two additional members to the board who represent the public generally and are appointed directly by the Commissioner.
The first quarterly meeting of the Insurance Diversity Task Force will be held on Thursday, March 11, 2021, and the Annual Meeting of the CLHIGA Board of Directors is scheduled for Wednesday, April 28, 2021. More details are available at www.insurance.ca.gov/boards.