San Francisco, August 16, 2016—Earlier today, 18 well-known nonprofit organizations called on the Personal
Insurance Federation of California (PIFC), an insurance lobbying group, to support transparency for insurance
investments in California communities, made through a state reinvestment program known as COIN (California
Organized Investment Network).
COIN was developed as a voluntary program for insurers to reinvest their premiums in communities in a similar
way to banks and the Community Reinvestment Act. These investments provide a reasonable rate of return for
the insurers while also financing affordable housing, small business lending, community development, and
renewable energy projects, especially in low income communities. COIN was created in 1996 as a compromise
to legislation that would have mandated insurers reinvest some of the more than $250 billion in premiums they
collect annually from California consumers.
However, the COIN program is currently set to expire in 2017, and state legislation re-authorizing the COIN
program, AB 2728 (Atkins, D-San Diego), does not currently include a key transparency mechanism, known as
the “data call,” which requires insurers to report on their investments in the COIN program
Insurers lobbying against transparency: The Personal Insurance Federation of California, an insurance lobbying
association, is apparently lobbying against the data call being included in AB 2728. In response, 18
organizations who work in community development in communities throughout California, sent a letter to
Speaker Emeritus Atkins, informing her that they could not support AB 2728 without the data call included in
Today, the leaders of these nonprofits, including members of the COIN advisory board, are urging PIFC to
support the data call requirement being included in AB 2728; are urging Speaker Emertius Atkins to put the data
call into AB 2728, and are urging the legislature to pass AB 2728.
“The COIN program is a significant vehicle for economic development in California communities- and
transparency about these investments is also key. We’re urging the PIFC to join with us and ask Speaker
Emeritus Atkins to put the data call into AB 2728. Reporting for the sake of transparency to consumers and
communities is the least the industry can do and the least the state of California should expect from an industry
that profits from California residents who are required to buy health, auto, and homeowner insurance ” explains
Paulina Gonzalez, executive director of the California Reinvestment Coalition. (Gonzalez is also a member of
the COIN Advisory Board, but is speaking in an individual capacity, not on behalf of the COIN advisory board).
“It makes no sense to me and others working to develop underserved communities in California why insurance
companies wouldn’t want to report on their investments in low-income communities, especially if these
investments are helping to address critical needs in California like affordable housing?” asks Jay Powell, an
expert in community and economic development from San Diego. (Powell is also a member of the COIN
Advisory Board, but is speaking in an individual capacity, not on behalf of the COIN Advisory Board).
“Transparency by the insurance industry is the first step to encouraging reinvestment in California’s low and
moderate income communities” comments Doug Bystry, president and CEO of Clearinghouse CDFI. (Bystry is
also the vice-chair of the COIN Advisory Board, but is speaking in an individual capacity).