Almost $1 billion in new and merged insurance assets approved in 2017.
LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts applauded the news that several divisions within the Nebraska Department of Insurance (NDOI) reported positive outcomes in assisting Nebraskans with their insurance-related issues.
“I’ve tasked our state agencies with improving customer focus and increasing their efficiency and effectiveness,” said Governor Ricketts. “These successes from the Department of Insurance highlight the great changes that our state agencies are making.”
Growing Nebraska’s Insurance Industry
During 2017, the NDOI approved newly-domiciled and merged companies into Nebraska with combined assets of over $912,800,000. These companies join other Nebraska insurers in bringing insurance services and insurance jobs to Nebraskans.
Medicare Savings for Nebraska Seniors
The Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) recorded 28,085 contacts resulting in estimated savings to Medicare enrollees exceeding $13,500,000. Operating under a federal grant, the Nebraska SHIIP program trains volunteers throughout the state to educate and assist individuals with Medicare questions and Medicare Part-D enrollment. The program helps individuals achieve savings by analyzing which plans are most suitable for individuals based on their health conditions and prescriptions.
Consumer Affairs Division
The Consumer Affairs Division of the NDOI assists Nebraskans with numerous types of insurance questions and complaints. The most frequent subject matters involve health, homeowners, and automobile insurance. During 2017, the division assisted 1,436 individuals, resulting in favorable outcomes totaling $10,407,581.86. Additional assistance was offered through 17 consumer alerts and informational brochures covering various types of insurance that were posted to the Department’s website.
New Life Insurance Policy Locator Service
The NDOI, in cooperation with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), other state insurance departments, and participating insurers, implemented a Life Insurance Policy Locator Service in 2017. The consumer tool matched 519 beneficiaries with lost or misplaced life insurance policies or annuities, totaling over $1,080,000 returned to Nebraskans. The Life Insurance Policy Locator can be found at the following link: https://eapps.naic.org/life-policy-locator/#/welcome.
Continued Agency Accreditation
The NAIC also voted to continue the accreditation of the NDOI. The Department’s initial accreditation award was received in December, 1992. Accredited insurance departments undergo a comprehensive, independent review to ensure they continue to meet baseline financial solvency oversight standards. To remain accredited, an accreditation review must be performed at least once every five years with interim annual reviews, if necessary. The accreditation award demonstrates the Department’s success in meeting the rigorous standards of the NAIC Financial Regulation Standards and Accreditation Program.
“The Nebraska Department of Insurance’s Financial Examination and Legal teams have worked diligently to achieve re-accreditation with the NAIC accreditation guidelines,” said NDOI Director Bruce Ramge. “Maintaining accreditation allows insurance regulators throughout the country and territories to maintain confidence in Nebraska’s solvency regulation and oversight. It also helps to ensure a uniform methodology in analyzing, examining, and treatment of solvency regulation for insurers domiciled in Nebraska. Nebraska’s domestic insurance industry is among one of the nation’s largest in terms of assets and surplus.”
Better, Faster Customer Service
Divisions that conduct rate and form review worked diligently throughout 2017 to improve service, employing techniques championed by the State of Nebraska Center of Operational Excellence. As a result, the divisions exceeded their operational goals with filing turn-around times between a monthly high of 16.5 days to a low of 8.2 days. Quicker turn-around times allow insurers to bring their new and revised products to market sooner.