Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance
The current officeholder is Ted Nickel. Before his appointment, he was the Director of Governmental and Regulatory Affairs for the Church Mutual Insurance Company. He has served on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Insurance Alliance, Wisconsin Insurance Security Fund, and Oklahoma Property Insurance Guaranty Association, and is a member of the Legal and Government Affairs Committee of the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America. He holds a BA in Business administration from Valparaiso University.
Wisconsin law provides that heads of independent agencies may create and appoint such councils and committees as the operation of the agency requires.
In addition to any councils specifically created by law, create and appoint such councils or committees as the operation of the department or independent agency requires. Members of councils and committees created under this general authority shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties and, if such reimbursement is made, such reimbursement in the case of an officer or employee of this state who represents an agency as a member of such a council or committee shall be paid by the agency which pays the officer's or employee's salary.
The creation of the Commissioner of Insurance is designated in Wisconsin Statutes.
There is created an office of the commissioner of insurance under the direction and supervision of the commissioner of insurance. The commissioner shall not: (1) Be a candidate for public office in any election; (2) Directly or indirectly solicit or receive, or be in any manner concerned with soliciting or receiving any assessment, subscription, contribution or service, whether voluntary or involuntary, for any political purpose whatever, from any person within or without the state; nor (3) Act as an officer or manager for any candidate, political party or committee organized to promote the candidacy of any person for any public office.
The insurance law, section 601.20 of Wisconsin Statutes, authorizes the Commissioner of Insurance to create advisory councils and committees to assist in dealing with regulatory problems.
The commissioner may create advisory councils and committees under s. 15.04 (1) (c) to assist in dealing with regulatory problems. The commissioner may appoint members and may provide by rule for the creation, governance, duties and termination of any council or committee the commissioner establishes.
The Commissioner is to provide by rule for the creation, governance, duties, and termination of any council or committee that is established. The expert advice provided the Commissioner through these councils results in more efficient regulation of the insurance industry to the benefit of insurance consumers and insurers.
Qualifications for the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance are detailed within the Wisconsin State Statutes, Chapter 15.73:
The commissioner shall not:
- Be a candidate for public office in any election;
- Directly or indirectly solicit or receive, or be in any manner concerned with soliciting or receiving any assessment, subscription, contribution or service, whether voluntary or involuntary, for any political purpose whatever, from any person within or without the state; nor
- Act as an officer or manager for any candidate, political party or committee organized to promote the candidacy of any person for any public office.
The main duties included in the office are: 
- Reviewing insurance policies that are sold in the state to make sure they meet the requirements set forth in Wisconsin law
- Conducting examinations of domestic and foreign insurers to ensure compliance with Wisconsin laws and rules
- Monitoring the financial solvency of licensed companies to make sure that consumers have the insurance coverage they expect when they need it
- Issuing licenses to the various parties involved in selling and marketing insurance products
- Assisting insurance consumers with their insurance problems
- Researching special insurance issues to understand and assess their impact on the state
- Providing technical assistance on legislation and promulgating administrative rules to interpret insurance laws
- Creating and distributing public information and consumer education pieces to educate people about insurance
- Operating a state life insurance fund, a property fund for the property owned by local units of government, and a patients compensation fund insuring health care providers for medical malpractice
There are three divisions within the office of Commissioner of Insurance:
- Health and Life Insurance Advisory Council
- Life Settlement Subgroup
- Property and Casualty Advisory Council
125 South Webster Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53703-3474
Phone: (608) 266-3585 (Madison), (800) 236-8517 (Statewide)
Fax: (608) 266-9935
Hours: Monday - Friday 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m CST
- Wisconsin Government "Office of the Commissioner of Insurance" Accessed July 17, 2012
- NAIC.org, "Ted Nickel biography," accessed September 4, 2011
- Wisconsin State Agencies "Office of Commissioner of Insurance" Accessed July 17, 2012
- Wisconsin State Offices "Office of the Commissioner of Insurance" Accessed July 17, 2012
- Office of the Commissioner of Insurance "Advisory Council" Accessed July 20, 2012
- The Council of State Governments,"The Book of States 2010 Table 4.11," retrieved June 7, 2011