Agency Primer: Office of the Commissioner of Insurance

Agency Primer by IRG:

Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance

OCI was created by the legislature in 1870 and was a department within the secretary of state’s office. The department at the time licensed agents. Upon complaint, the department also examined the books of fire and inland navigation insurance companies. From 1878, the legislature created a separate Department of Insurance with a commissioner appointed by the governor. In 1881 through 1911, the commissioner was an elected position but changed back to an appointed position in 1911 to which it stands today.

Since 1947, responsibilities of the department included review of all insurance policy forms and filings of most premium rates. In 1967, the Department of Insurance became the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and continued its independent duties.

Today, OCI’s mission is to protect and educate Wisconsin consumers by maintaining and promoting a strong insurance industry.

OCI is a member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). This national organization provides regulatory support and is governed by chief insurance regulators from all 50 states, D.C., and the five U.S. territories. Through NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards, best practices and coordinate regulatory oversight.

According to the 2021 Wisconsin Insurance Report, there are 2,008 insurers authorized to write business in Wisconsin with total assets of more than $612 billion. Of those, 329 insurers were domiciled in Wisconsin. There are over 197,000 agents licensed to do business in Wisconsin – over 35,000 of those are Wisconsin residents.

OCI is located in Madison, Wisconsin. There are no other physical locations in the state.

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