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The California Assembly passed a bill that will increase the ability of its Department of Insurance to fight insurance fraud.

The bill, AB 1401, which was brought by Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian, substantially increases the mandatory assessment amounts for insurers who write policies in the state, from $1,300 to $5,100. According to a release from the California Department of Insurance (CDOI), who sponsored the bill, the 300 percent increase is due to the fact that assessment rates have not been raised since 1973, except for a small increase of $300 in 2000. The additional money obtained from the required assessments will go towards hiring 22 vacant investigator positions that previously were unfilled because of budget constraints, the CDOI said.

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