There is one insurance commissioner for each of the 50 states of The United States. The public has the ability to elect their insurance commissioner within 11 states (Washington, California, Montana, North Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Missouri, Georgia, North Carolina and Delaware). Within 39 states the insurance commissioner is appointed, 37 of which are appointed by the state governor and/or multi-member commissions. After this election process, the state senate needs to approve the vote. The remaining 2 (New Mexico and Virginia) are appointed by the Public Regulation Commission and the State Corporate Commission.
It is the responsibility of each insurance commissioner to regulate, license and protect the public from the insurance practices of each insurance company. The role of the insurance commissioner would also be to help these car insurance rates to be competitive yet affordable to the public and insurance companies alike. Essentially, each commissioner is required to create and maintain best practices situation for all parties involved. Complaints are common and the role of the commissioner is also to mitigate these claims by heading teams of investigators for each claim made.
By being elected each state insurance commissioner joins the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
You can see the official mission statement of the NAIC below:
“The mission of the NAIC is to assist state insurance regulators, individually and collectively, in serving the public interest and achieving the following fundamental insurance regulatory goals in a responsive, efficient and cost-effective manner, consistent with the wishes of its members:
- Protect the public interest;
- Promote competitive markets;
- Facilitate the fair and equitable treatment of insurance consumers;
- promote the reliability, solvency and financial solidity of insurance institutions;
- support and improve state regulation of insurance.“
In short, the NAIC works in conjunction with each state insurance commissioner to help level the insurance playing field for all of the United States citizens. The organization as a whole drafts “model laws” that are sometimes adopted by the government and made into Federal law. This is achieved by assimilating the generalized laws and regulations enacted by each state insurance commissioner. The goal of the NAIC, as well as each state insurance commissioner, is to make insurance regulation as consistent as possible within our nation. Enacting insurance regulations and making sure the public adheres to them is the best way they see to encourage the best infrastructure to enable successful insurance community practices.