An insurance commissioner (or commissioner of insurance) is a public official in the executive branch of a state or territory in the United States who, along with his or her office, regulate the insurance industry. The powers granted to the office of an insurance commissioner differ in each state. The office of an insurance commissioner is established either by the state constitution or by statute. While most insurance commissioners are appointed, in some jurisdictions they are elected. The office of the insurance commissioner may be part of a larger regulatory agency, or an autonomous department.
Insurance law and regulation is established individually by each state. In order to better coordinate insurance regulation among the states and territories, insurance commissioners are members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
Duties and powers of insurance commissioners
The purpose of insurance commissioners is to maintain fair pricing for insurance products, protecting the solvency of insurance companies, preventing unfair practices by insurance companies, and ensuring availability of insurance coverage. In order to accomplish these goals, each state grants several powers to insurance commissioners and their offices, including:
- Approval of insurance rates
- Periodical financial examinations of insurers
- Licensing of companies, agencies, agents, and brokers
- Monitoring and regulating claims handling
List of current insurance commissioners
- "State Commissioners - 2014" (PDF). naic.org. NAIC. Retrieved 18 August 2015.
- "About the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)". www.naic.org. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
- Kimball, Spencer (1961). "The Purpose of Insurance Regulation: A Preliminary Inquiry in the Theory of Insurance Law". heinonline.org. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
- Randall, Susan (1999). "Insurance Regulation in the United States: Regulatory Federalism and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners" (PDF). Florida State University Law Review. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-06-11.
- "National Association of Insurance Commissioners Membership List" (PDF). www.naic.org. NAIC. April 18, 2017. Retrieved April 21, 2017.