(a) Any person who engages in any unfair method of competition or any unfair or deceptive act or practice defined in Section 790.03 is liable to the state for a civil penalty to be fixed by the commissioner, not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each act, or, if the act or practice was willful, a civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each act. The commissioner shall have the discretion to establish what constitutes an act. However, when the issuance, amendment, or servicing of a policy or endorsement is inadvertent, all of those acts shall be a single act for the purpose of this section.
(b) The penalty imposed by this section shall be imposed by and determined by the commissioner as provided by Section 790.05. The penalty imposed by this section is appealable by means of any remedy provided by Section 12940 or by Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.