Wash. Commissioner Earns National Accreditation for State Agency

June 20, 2001

Accreditation has been restored to the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC). The announcement was made at the quarterly meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in New Orleans, LA.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler noted that accreditation had been one of his top priorities since he entered office. Kreidler worked closely with legislators to ensure that an agency budget proposal for necessary salaries to attract auditors would be supported.

Accreditation was lost in 1999 under the previous administration when a NAIC audit of Washington’s program found fault with staffing levels, training, exam procedures, timeliness and management oversight. With an overall financial exam rating of 2.78, Washington failed to meet the required 3.0 rating for accreditation. Corrective action taken in each of the deficient areas has raised the rating to 3.44.

Re-accreditation is also good news for the companies domiciled in Washington state. Without this nationally recognized seal of approval, companies such as SAFECO are subject to costly independent financial exams by every other state. Accreditation assures other states that they can have confidence in the financial oversight provided by Washington state. NAIC’s recent review for accreditation indicated that Washington state had made substantial progress beyond the minimum national standards.

The Accreditation program was created by the NAIC in 1990 to set national standards for solvency regulation based on the adequacy of a particular state’s solvency laws and regulations, effective and efficient financial analysis and examination processes and appropriate organizational and personnel practices. The program is intended to allow regulators and consumers from other states confidence that the oversight provided by an accredited state is reliable.

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