CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE
SLAVERY ERA INSURANCE REGISTRY
REPORT TO THE CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE
I. THE LEGISLATION
A. SB 2199: Slavery Era Insurance Policies: Legislative Findings
In 2000, the California State Legislature passed SB 2199, authored by former Senator Tom
Hayden (D-Los Angeles). The statute is entitled “Slavery Era Insurance Policies” and adds
sections 13810 through 13813 to the California Insurance Code (CIC).
The Legislature found and declared that:
(a) Insurance policies from the slavery era have been discovered in the archives of
several insurance companies, documenting insurance coverage for slaveholders
for damage to or death of their slaves, issued by a predecessor insurance firm.
These documents provide the first evidence of ill-gotten profits from slavery,
which profits in part capitalized insurers whose successors remain in existence
(b) Legislation has been introduced in Congress for the past 10 years demanding
an inquiry into slavery and its continuing legacies.
(c) The Insurance Commissioner and the Department of Insurance are entitled to
seek information from the files of insurers licensed and doing business in this
state, including licensed California subsidiaries of international insurance
corporations, regarding insurance policies issued to slaveholders by predecessor
corporations. The people of California are entitled to significant historical
information of this nature.
B. SB 2199: Slavery Era Insurance Policies: Statute
California Insurance Code section 13810 et seq. reads as follows:
CHAPTER 5. SLAVERY ERA INSURANCE POLICIES
13810. The commissioner shall request and obtain information from insurers
licensed and doing business in this state regarding any records of slaveholder
insurance policies issued by any predecessor corporation during the slavery era.
13811. The commissioner shall obtain the names of any slaveholders or slaves
described in those insurance records, and shall make the information available to
the public and the Legislature.