Accomplishments

Karen Weldin Stewart


Since I was elected in 2008 as Delaware's 25th Insurance Commissioner, I have lead the largest consumer protection agency in the state. Here are a few of the Insurance Department's accomplishments during my time as Commissioner:


WE GENERATED SUBSTANTIAL REVENUE THAT HAS BENEFITED ALL DELAWAREANS

  • Collected almost $654 million in premium taxes.
  • Transferred to the general fund $246.6 million for distribution to Volunteer Fire Companies, the City of Wilmington Fireman's Pension Fund, Non-Profit Ambulance and Rescue Services, State, County and Municipal Police Pension Funds and the Police /Fire Retiree Health Benefits Fund.
  • Transferred $451 million to the general fund for benefit of all Delawareans.
  • Grew the number of captive insurance companies domiciled in Delaware from 38 companies to over 1,000 companies, and now Delaware ranks 3rd in the nation and 6th in the world as a captive domicile. Since FY13, as a result of our Captive Insurance success, we have transferred, pursuant to statute, $2,750,000 to the City of Wilmington and an additional $2 million to the general fund.

WE INFORMED AND ASSISTED DELAWARE'S INSURANCE CONSUMER

  • Enhanced the Department's website, use of Facebook and Twitter and upgraded our technology in a number of respects, all to better assist and inform Delaware Insurance consumers.
  • Restructured Consumer Services for better efficiency.
  • Increased rate filing transparency, including posting rate filings on our website.
  • Applied for and received millions of dollars in federal grant money to assist with enhancing our rate review processes.
  • Saved businesses over $61 million in premium expenses through our Workplace Safety Program, which helps to keep Delawareans safer at work through on-site safety inspections.
  • Recovered over $15 million for consumers from insurance companies.
  • Increased the percentage of monies recovered on behalf of consumers previously in dispute with insurance companies by 28%.
  • Provided free health insurance counseling for over 42,000 Delawareans with Medicare, including those under 65 years of age with disabilities, through our Delaware Medicare Assistance Bureau.
  • Earned reaccreditation by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners every five years (in 2009 and 2014), confirming that the Department meets or exceeds nationally-recognized standards for insurance regulatory agencies.

WE ENFORCED DELAWARE'S INSURANCE LAWS IN A FIRM AND FAIR MANNER

  • Fined insurance companies $3.6 million for non-compliance with regulatory mandates.
  • Issued numerous consumer protection bulletins including but not limited to prohibiting auto insurance companies from increasing premiums for a surviving spouse (the so-called “widow's penalty”) and forbidding property and casualty insurers from using so called “price optimization” (charging different premiums for two consumers who have the same risk profile).
  • Tracked down and fined persons engaged in insurance fraud, thereby reducing the amount of premium dollars used to pay fraudulent claims.
  • Received national recognition for uncovering a serious case of criminal insurance fraud. The perpetrator was sentenced to 37 years in a federal penitentiary and was ordered to pay restitution of $137 million

LEGISLATION

  • Promoted numerous pieces of legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor that protected consumers and improved regulation of Insurance companies.