Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance

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Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance
General information
Office Type:  Nonpartisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $104,289,000
Term limits:  None
Structure
Length of term:   Serves at the pleasure of the governor
Authority:  Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 15.73
Selection Method:  Appointed by Governor
Current Officeholder
Name:  Ted Nickel
Officeholder Party:  Nonpartisan
Assumed office:  January 3, 2011
Compensation:  $118,676
Other Wisconsin Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance is an appointed position in the Wisconsin state government. The position was created by the legislature in 1871 to ensure that the insurance industry "responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens."[1] Presently, the mission of the office is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.[1]

Current officeholder

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 B.A. in Business administration from Valparaiso University.[2]

Authority

Wisconsin law provides that heads of independent agencies may create and appoint such councils and committees as the operation of the agency requires.

Wisconsin Statutes, Section 15.04

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.

Wisconsin Statutes, Chapter 15.73, Office of commissioner of insurance; creation

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.

Wisconsin Statutes, Section 601.20

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.[3]

Qualifications

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.

Appointments

Wisconsin state government organizational chart

The Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Insurance for Wisconsin are appointed by the governor and serve at his or her pleasure.[4]

Vacancies

In the instance of a vacancy, under Chapter 15.05 of the Wisconsin Statutes, a new commissioner is nominated by the governor, and will serve at the pleasure of the governor.[5][6]

Duties

The main duties included in the office are:[1]

  • 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
Click here to view a larger-scale image of the WI Department of Insurance Organizational Chart, as of March 18, 2013.

Divisions

There are three divisions within the office of Commissioner of Insurance:[7]

State budget

See also: Wisconsin state budget and finances

The budget for the Commissioner of Insurance's Office in Fiscal Year 2013 was $104,289,000.[8]

Compensation

See also: Compensation of state executive officers

2014

In 2014, the commissioner received a salary of $118,676, according to the Council of State Governments.[9]

2013

In 2013, the commissioner's salary remained at $117,500.[10]

2012

In 2012, the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance was paid an estimated $117,500. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Wisconsin 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.

State profile

Wisconsin's population in 2013 was 5,742,713.

Wisconsin's population in 2013 was 5,742,713 according to the United States Census Bureau. This estimate represented a 1 percent change from the bureau's 2010 estimate. The state's population per square mile was 105 in 2010, exceeding the national average of 87.4. Wisconsin experienced a 1.5 percent increase in total employment from 2011 to 2012 based on census data, falling below a 2.2 percent increase at the national level during the same period.[11]

Demographics

Wisconsin fell below the national average for residents who attained at least bachelor's degrees based on census data from 2009 to 2013. The United States Census Bureau found that 26.8 percent of Wisconsin residents aged 25 years and older attained bachelor's degrees compared to 28.8 percent at the national level. The median household income in Wisconsin was $52,413 between 2009 and 2013 compared to a $53,046 national median income. Census information showed a 13.5 percent poverty rate in Wisconsin during the study period compared to a 14.5 percent national poverty rate.[11]

Racial Demographics, 2013[11]
Race Wisconsin (%) United States (%)
White 88.1 77.7
Black or African American 6.5 13.2
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.1 1.2
Asian 2.5 5.3
Two or More Races 1.7 2.4
Hispanic or Latino 6.3 17.1

Presidential Voting Pattern, 2000-2012[12][13]
Year Democratic vote in Wisconsin (%) Republican vote in Wisconsin (%) Democratic vote in U.S. (%) Republican vote in U.S. (%)
2012 52.8 45.9 51.1 47.2
2008 56.2 42.3 52.9 45.7
2004 49.7 49.3 48.3 50.7
2000 47.8 47.6 48.4 47.9

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin rather than a race. Citizens may report both their race and their place of origin, and as a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table may exceed 100 percent.[14][15]

Recent news

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Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance News Feed

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Contact info

Address:
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

See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wisconsin Government, "Office of the Commissioner of Insurance" accessed July 17, 2012
  2. NAIC.org, "Ted Nickel biography," accessed September 4, 2011
  3. Wisconsin State Agencies, "Office of Commissioner of Insurance" accessed July 17, 2012
  4. Wisconsin State Offices, "Office of the Commissioner of Insurance" accessed July 17, 2012
  5. Wisconsin Statutes, "Chapter 15: Structure of the Executive Branch -- Subchapter I: General Provisions, Section 15.05: Secretaries," accessed July 23, 2012
  6. Wisconsin State Offices, "Office of the Commissioner of Insurance" accessed July 17, 2012
  7. Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, "Advisory Council" accessed July 20, 2012
  8. Wisconsin Department of Administration, "2013-15 Executive Budget - Office of the Commissioner of Insurance," accessed April 3, 2013
  9. Council of State Governments, "SELECTED STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS: ANNUAL SALARIES," accessed December 8, 2014
  10. Council of State Governments, Table 4.11 Selected State Administrative Officials: Annual Salaries," accessed January 31, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 United States Census Bureau, "QuickFacts Beta," accessed March 24, 2015
  12. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Wisconsin Election Results," accessed March 24, 2015
  13. The American Presidency Project, "Presidential Elections Data," accessed March 24, 2015
  14. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  15. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.