The insurance commissioners from each state meet three times per year to discuss their roles in consumer protection and solvency regulation. Solvency is the term used when the commissioners monitor insurance companies to make sure they don’t go bankrupt and make your policy worthless.
NAIC – National Association of Insurance Commissioners
I had the opportunity to attend this Fall’s meeting because it was close to home, in San Francisco. Here’s what you, as a consumer, may want to know:
1) There are several panels which address consumer interests.
2) There is very little direct consumer input integrated into the regulations created to keep insurance activity fair. Considering that an insurance transaction is a promise between an insurer and a consumer for assistance when the consumer has suffered a significant loss, the input of consumers should be considered critical. How else will regulators know if the insurance policies sold in their states are providing enough value and helping their citizens? Commissioners do have staff to collect feedback (you can call your state commissioner to file a complaint), but they are government funded and notoriously understaffed. Much more research, data, and consumer input is needed.
3) Another way to reach insurance regulators is through the few consumer representatives who are allowed to attend NAIC meetings. These hardcore consumer representatives work tirelessly and thanklessly to make the world a better place for those who purchase insurance.
You may wish to contact one of these representatives or their organizations if you have a concern you think regulators should be paying special attention to. The frequent reps are:
- United Policyholders, Amy Bach, http://www.uphelp.org
- Center for Economic Justice, Berny Birnbaum, http://www.cej-online.org
- Center for Insurance Research, Brendan Bridgeland http://www.centerforinsuranceresearch.org
- University of Georgia – Consumer Economics, Brenda Cude, https://www.fcs.uga.edu/people/bio/bcude
- University of Connecticut – Insurance Law Center, Peter Kochenburger, https://ilc.law.uconn.edu/node
You can find more reps here: https://www.naic.org/consumer_participation.htm