West Virginia Commissioner of Insurance

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West Virginia Commissioner of Insurance
General information
Office Type:  Nonpartisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $647,485,801
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   Serves at the pleasure of the governor
Authority:  West Virginia Code, Chapter 33, Article 3, Section 1
Selection Method:  Appointed by Governor
Current Officeholder
Name:  Michael D. Riley
Assumed office:  July 1, 2011
Compensation:  $92,500
Other West Virginia Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerSecretary of CommerceCommissioner of LaborPublic Service Commission
The West Virginia Commissioner of Insurance is an appointed state executive position in the West Virginia state government. The commissioner monitors the state's insurance industry by regulating and licensing agents and companies.

Current officeholder

The current insurance commissioner is Michael D. Riley. He was appointed on July 1, 2011 by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. Riley succeeded Jane Cline, who retired on June 30, 2011.[1]


The West Virginia Insurance Commission and the authority of the commissioner is established in Chapter 33, Article 2 of the West Virginia Code:

Chapter 33, Article 3, Section 1:

There is hereby continued in effect the state agency heretofore created and known as the "insurance commissioner of West Virginia" which agency shall consist of an insurance commissioner and such employees as may be authorized by law...


Chapter 33, Article 2 also establishes the qualifications for the office of insurance commissioner:

... The commissioner shall be a citizen and resident of this state and shall be appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Before taking the oath of office the commissioner shall sever all connections either direct or indirect with any and all insurers subject to his supervision and with any person representing any such insurer, except as a policyholder or claimant.

  • a resident of West Virginia
  • appointed by the governor with the consent of the state senate
  • must sever all connections with insurers before taking the oath of office


West Virginia state government organizational chart

The commissioner of insurance is an appointed position in West Virginia. The governor nominates a candidate to the state Senate which confirms the nominee. The incumbent serves at the will and pleasure of the governor for the term for which the governor was elected and remains in office until their successor has been appointed and qualified. The commissioner's initial appointment is for a period of six years.[2]


Vacancies in the office of insurance commissioner are filled by gubernatorial appointment with the consent of the state senate. In the event of a vacancy before the six-year term has expired, the appointee will serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.[2]


The insurance commissioner regulates the approximately 2,400 insurance-related entities that are licensed, registered, or allowed to conduct business in the state. They are permitted to acquire external legal services, or may call upon the attorney general for assistance and representation. The West Virginia Code grants the commissioner secondary duties that aid in the regulation of the insurance industry:

  • conduct investigations, take depositions and subpoena witnesses
  • examine insurers, agents, brokers, and solicitors
  • adopt additional rules and regulations necessary to discharge the duties of office

Like most other state executive officers in West Virginia, the insurance commissioner provides an annual report to the governor.[3][4]


There are four primary divisions within the West Virginia Insurance Commission. Each division provides a unique function that supports the overarching mission and duty of the commissioner of insurance.

  • The Consumer Advocate Division advocates for the public and insurance consumers in state and federal courts, administrative agency hearings, and before the Healthcare Authority.
  • The Consumer Services Division helps answer consumer questions and resolve problems that are related to insurance, and conducts investigations for the insurance commission.
  • The Financial Conditions Division issues licenses to insurance companies, monitors the financial integrity of these companies, administers the state insurance premium tax and fee laws, and prepares the insurance commissioner's annual report to the governor.
  • The Fraud Unit investigates all suspected insurance fraud in the state.

State budget

See also: West Virginia state budget and finances

The West Virginia Insurance Commission had a budget of $647,485,801 for the 2013 Fiscal Year.[5]


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

Chapter 6, Article 7-2 of the West Virginia Code lays out the exact compensation for certain state officers. According to this section of the state code, the salary of the insurance commissioner, beginning in 2006 and for each calendar year thereafter, shall be $95,000.[6]


In 2014, the commissioner was paid an estimated $92,500, according to the Council of State Governments.[7]


In 2013, the commissioner was paid an estimated $80,000.[8]


In 2012, the commissioner was paid an estimated $92,500, according to the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the commissioner was paid an estimated $92,500, according to the Council of State Governments.[9]

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the West Virginia Commissioner of Insurance has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

Recent news

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West Virginia Commissioner of Insurance - Google News Feed

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Contact information

West Virginia Insurance Commissioner

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 50540
Charleston, WV 25305-0540

Physical address:
1124 Smith Street
Charleston, WV 25301

Email: Consumer Service

Department email and phone numbers

See also

External links