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Insurance Commissioner: Helping Insurance Work In Your State

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Definitions Last Updated: 05/16/2011

The Insurance Commissioner – or Director – for your state handles every insurance complaint, insurance license application and rate request that sets your insurance premiums.

The Insurance Commissioner is found in the state capital

Your state Insurance Commissioner is located in your state capital.

When we hear the word commissioner, the first two associations that come to mind for most is a police commissioner and Commissioner Gordon from the series Batman®. The majority of us have no clue that there is another commissioner that affects our lives almost daily and that is our state’s Insurance Commissioner.

The decisions that are made by your Insurance Commissioner’s office have an effect on every insurance policy that you have purchased to protect your belongings and your life.

Who Is the Insurance Commissioner?

The Insurance Commissioner, also known in some states as the Insurance Director, is the head of all things insurance in your state. The actual commissioner is just the head of the department and oversees the operations, they are not the person that you would see directly if you had to get an insurance license or file a complaint.

The Insurance Commissioner’s office works the same as any other government department, you have the head of the department as a whole (Insurance Commissioner or Director), then you have someone that is in charge of each smaller department (life insurance, personal insurance, ect) and then you have all the employees below them that do most of the work.

So when you are advised to file a complaint or ask a question about an insurance agent in your area with your Insurance Commissioner, you will actually be contacting the Insurance Commissioner’s office and an employee that works in that office will be helping you.

Where is the Insurance Commissioner located?

Insurance Commissioners are located in every state and are usually located in your state’s capital.  If you wish to find out information about your insurance company or to file a complaint you would contact the Insurance Commissioner that is in your state, you do not have to find out what state the insurance company is based out of. This is because your insurance company had to be licensed to do business in your state and is subject to your state’s insurance rules and regulations, which are most likely different from the state that the insurance company is based out of.

To find out who to contact in your state the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has a map on their site that will not only tell you who your Insurance Commissioner is, but also has a link that will take you straight to your state’s insurance website.

What does the Insurance Commissioner Do?

The office of the Insurance Commissioner (or Insurance Director) handles everything that you can possibly imagine that is connected to insurance. This means complaints about insurance companies that write in their states, complaints about rates, they approve or deny an insurance companies request to raise or set insurance rates in their state, they license companies and agents, offer continuing education and they enforce and create the insurance rules and regulations for the state.  They can also answer questions that you may have about the reliability of specific agents or insurance companies that write in your state.

The Insurance Commissioner is not just in charge of auto insurance either, they are the authority for all fields of insurance; auto, home, commercial and health just to name a few.

®Batman is the property of DC Comics.

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele’s first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she’s earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

Reviews (5)

  • kim

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    I bought a new vehicle we spoke to the insurance company and added the car before we left the lot we later received our regerstraition I called to report a clam and the did not show that vehicle or any other vehicles we have had in 3 years however they where taking money for the policy out of my husbands account so they are refusing to cover because the car wasn’t on the policy and they refuse to return money paid to them what should we do

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    • Michele Wilmonen

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      You need to contact your the state insurance commissioner immediately and tell them your situation. They can best help you with that.

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      • kim

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        thank you for your help I have reported this and it is being reviewed I will be sure to post an up date of how it all turns out

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  • Nico Gumus

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    My Neighbors tree fell on my house and damaged my truck as well. My Ins. Co is
    paying for the damages on the house but wont pay for the damages for my truck, because I only have Liability covarage. I feel like either my or my neighbors insurance should pay pay for the damages. Please call me @ xxx.xxx.xxxx
    Thx…

    Nico

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    • Todd Clay

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      Unfortunately Nico, the insurance company is correct. Vehicles are covered separately from houses. To get your truck covered, you would need a separate policy with – in this case – comprehensive coverage. I’ve made the same mistake before when a basketball goal fell on my truck when it was not covered with comprehensive. That can be a tough lesson to learn.

      Reply

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