(a) The commissioner shall have the administrative authority to assess penalties against insurers, brokers, agents, and other entities engaged in the transaction of insurance or any other person or entity for violations of this article.
(b) Upon a showing of a violation of this article in any civil action, a court may also assess the penalties prescribed in this chapter.
(c) Whenever the commissioner has reasonable cause to believe or determines after a public hearing that any insurer, agent, broker, or other
person or entity engaged in the transaction of insurance, has violated this article the commissioner shall make and serve upon the insurer, broker, agent, or other person or entity a notice of hearing. The notice shall state the commissioner’s intent to assess the administrative penalties, the time and place of the hearing, and the conduct, condition or ground upon which the commissioner is holding the hearing, and assessing the penalties. The hearing shall occur within 30 days after the notice is served. Within 30 days after the hearing the commissioner shall issue an order specifying the amount of the penalties to be paid. The penalties resulting from the hearing shall be paid to the Insurance Fund.
(d) The powers vested in the commissioner by this section shall be in addition to any and all powers and remedies vested in the commissioner by law.
(e) Actions for injunctive
relief, penalties specified in Section 789.3, damages, restitution, and all other remedies in law, may be brought in superior court by the Attorney General, district attorney, or city attorney on behalf of the people of California. The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs to the prevailing plaintiff who establishes a violation of this article.