Insurance Departments:

Trends in Resources and Workloads in Delaware, North Carolina, and Ohio

OCE-87-2BR: Published: Jan 9, 1987. Publicly Released: Feb 9, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on insurance regulation in Delaware, North Carolina, and Ohio, specifically: (1) the types and amounts of their financial resources available in recent years; (2) the number and types of their available personnel resources, including actuaries and other specialists; (3) their insurance departments' regulatory activities or work loads; and (4) recent initiatives concerning the availability and affordability of commercial liability insurance.

GAO found that: (1) the financial resources of the state insurance departments increased considerably between 1980 and 1986; (2) in addition to state-provided resources, Delaware received $725,300 in 1985 and $804,000 in 1986 from non-government sources; (3) insurance companies paid the state-required financial examinations in each of the states; (4) insurance department personnel increased between 1978 and 1986 from 19 percent to 80 percent; (5) selected specialists in each of the departments at least doubled between 1978 and 1986; (6) the number of rate filings requiring prior approval declined in North Carolina by 79 percent and increased in Ohio by 31 percent; (7) North Carolina and Ohio conducted the same number of examinations of state-chartered companies in 1985 as in 1977; (8) Delaware conducted over three times as many examinations in 1985, due to a substantial growth in the number of Delaware-chartered insurance companies; (9) the number of policy form filings increased by 50 percent in North Carolina, declined by 6 percent in Ohio, and was not available for Delaware; and (10) the number of applications processed for insurance company licenses declined from 42 to 0 in Delaware, increased from 138 to 158 in North Carolina, and increased from 108 to 204 in Ohio. GAO also found that the states: (1) have taken actions during the last 2 years to address the affordability or availability of insurance; and (2) proposed legislation to reform state liability laws, including proposals to cap contingency fees and to limit the size of punitive damage awards.

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