Bismarck, ND - North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm announced today that the Insurance Department could take a key role in the future of North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance (WSI).
The Insurance Department has specific expertise in examining insurance companies in the areas of market conduct, financial solvency and accounting practices.
"When you get right down to it, WSI is an insurance company," said Hamm. "Like any insurance company, it should be processing claims fairly, retaining enough funds to pay claims; and explaining any major changes to its financial operations."
Hamm suggested that there are three major functions that the Insurance Department could oversee:
Market Conduct Examination - Ensuring the agency acts in the best interest of North Dakota's workers and employers.
Financial Examination - Performing regular financial reviews to ensure insurance industry accounting practices are followed and funds remain sufficient to pay claims.
Ongoing Financial Analysis - Monitoring the financial statements and any operational changes quarterly to intercept problems quickly.
Hamm elaborated, "Because our examinations of insurance companies focus on consumer protection and company solvency, we would bring a new perspective to the review process of WSI."
Currently, the Department performs regular financial examination and financial analysis of over 30 insurance companies that are domesticated in North Dakota and takes part in multi-state exams of other companies. The Department can initiate a market conduct examination at the discretion of the Commissioner should it be needed.
"This type of examination would add a level of independence to the review process as well as an additional level of accountability that does not exist today," stated Hamm.
Hamm will discuss his proposal with the interim Industry, Business and Labor Committee on February 7.