Delaware Elects Incumbent Insurance Commissioner Navarro to Second Term

By | November 5, 2020

Delaware’s incumbent insurance commissioner Trinidad Navarro has been elected to a second term, beating out opponent Dr. Julia Pillsbury with roughly 60% of the votes, according to New York Times data.

Pillsbury was the candidate for the Republican party in the Delaware insurance commissioner race, while Navarro was running for re-election with the Democratic party.

Navarro was initially elected to his first term in 2016 as the state of Delaware’s 26th insurance commissioner.

Of note during his first term in office, Navarro worked with the Delaware General Assembly to pass House Substitute 1 to House Bill 80 in 2017, a consumer fairness bill that targets unfair discriminatory practices by automobile and homeowners insurance companies to determine premium costs. The legislation ensures that race, age, gender, economic status or other personal characteristics cannot impact the cost of auto and homeowners policies.

In 2019, the Delaware Department of Insurance passed more than a dozen pro-consumer bills under Navarro’s leadership, reduced Health Insurance Marketplace rates for the first time by 19%, and decreased workers’ compensation insurance rates by 13%. The most recent workers’ comp rate decrease in Delaware was announced last week and is set to go into effect December 1, 2020, marking the fourth consecutive year of such rate decreases.

In a pre-election interview with Insurance Journal, Navarro said one of the biggest challenges he sees for Delaware’s insurance industry at the moment remains the COVID-19 pandemic. Delaware has seen more than 25,000 total positive cases so far with 710 total deaths since the pandemic began. On March 12, Delaware Governor John Carney initially issued a state of emergency declaration to mobilize state resources and prepare for the spread of coronavirus across the state.

“We worked with our local legislators to prevent the [insurance] industry from canceling policies due to non-payment during the pendency of the emergency order,” Navarro said. “Now, we’re working with consumers and in the industry to work on payment plans so that they don’t have to pay all of it back at once.”

During his second term, Navarro said he plans to focus on boosting telehealth, which he said has served as a benefit to Delaware consumers as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Appointed in January as chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Antifraud Task Force, Navarro added he will continue his focus on big data and artificial intelligence as well, placing a particular emphasis on preventing discriminatory practices through the use of algorithms.

“The best part of the job is helping people when they have issues with their insurance companies,” he said when asked why he was seeking re-election. “And, you know, this is all I’ve done. My entire adult life has been spent helping people.”

Indeed, Navarro has a record of public service and community involvement, having served for more than 19 years as a New Castle County Police Officer, retiring after his election as New Castle County Sheriff in November 2010.

Prior to his police work, Navarro was a licensed insurance agent, following the footsteps of his father whose career was servicing the life insurance needs of his community, according to Navarro’s bio on his campaign website.

“As Insurance Commissioner, my number one priority is protecting Delaware insurance consumers,” Navarro said in a statement on his campaign website. “I will make sure the insurance companies obey Delaware law and honor their policies. I will stand up for the citizens of our state, not the big insurance companies.”

Delaware elects insurance commissioners to four-year terms during gubernatorial election years, with the 2020 election being held on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

About Elizabeth Blosfield

Elizabeth Blosfield is the East region editor for Insurance Journal. She can be reached at eblosfield@wellsmedia.com. More from Elizabeth Blosfield

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