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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Insurance Industry and Insurance Regulation

An investigation by the Center for Public Integrity found that half of the 109 insurance commissioners who have left their posts in the last decade have gone on to work for the industry they used to regulate — many leaving before their terms expire. Just two moved into consumer advocacy.
The cozy relationships between regulators and industry were revealed in the Center for Public Integrity’s review of lobbyist reports, regulator financial disclosures, campaign finance records and more than 3,700 pages of emails obtained through open records laws in 13 states.
At least four commissioners had direct financial ties to the industry, with New Jersey’s top regulator selling his insurance stocks — prohibited investments under state ethics laws — only after an inquiry from the Center for Public Integrity.
Many more have accepted thousands of dollars in trips to lavish conferences sponsored by insurance companies and their trade groups in locales like The Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, and the Four Seasons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Multiple commissioners rely on industry campaign contributions. Over the past decade, insurance companies and their employees were among the top political donors to commissioner candidates in at least six of the 11 states that elect regulators, according to data collected by the National Institute on Money in State Politics. Four of those 11 states ban contributions from the insurance industry