West Virginia Commissioner of Insurance
|West Virginia Commissioner of Insurance|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2013 FY Budget:||$647,485,801|
|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|
|Name:||Michael D. Riley|
|Assumed office:||July 1, 2011|
|Other West Virginia Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Superintendent of Education• Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner• Natural Resources Commissioner • Secretary of Commerce • Commissioner of Labor • Public Service Commission|
The state agency of insurance 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
The Commissioner of Insurance is an appointed position in West Virginia. The Governor nominates a candidate to the state senate, and the senate 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 6 years.
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.
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
There are four primary divisions within the department of insurance. 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.
The Insurance Commission had a budget of $647,485,801 for the 2013 Fiscal Year.
- 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.
In 2013, the commissioner of insurance was paid an estimated $80,000.
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West Virginia Insurance Commissioner
P.O. Box 50540
Charleston, WV 25305-0540
1124 Smith Street
Charleston, WV 25301
Email: Consumer Service
- West Virginia Governor, "Governor announces Michael D. Riley as acting commissioner of the West Virginia offices of the insurance commissioner," June 21, 2011 (dead link)
- Bloomsburg Businessweek, "W.Va insurance commissioner to retire June 30," May 19, 2011
- West Virginia Code, Chapter 33, Article 2, Section 1, Accessed June 29, 2011
- West Virginia Cofe, Chapter 33, Article 2, Section 3," accessed June 29, 2011
- WV Insurance.gov, "West Virginia Offices of the Insurance Commissioner," accessed June 29, 2011
- Approved budgets, "Legislature's Enrolled FY 2013 Budget Bill," accessed June 21, 2013
- West Virginia Code, " Retrieved June 20, 2011
- Council of State Governments, Table 4.11 Selected State Administrative Officials: Annual Salaries, accessed January 31, 2014
- The Council of State Governments, "The Book of States 2010 Table 4.11," accessed April 23, 2011