COLUMBUS – Ohio Lieutenant Governor and Director of the Department of Insurance Mary Taylor today announced that Ohio has earned a top grade for its property and casualty regulatory environment from the Heartland Institute. For its 2011 report, the Heartland Institute looked at how free consumers were to choose the property and casualty insurance products they wanted, as well as how free insurers were to provide the property and casualty insurance products consumers said they wanted.
“In Ohio, our vision is to have a robust, competitive and stable insurance market,” Lieutenant Governor Taylor said. “The results of this study indicate that we are on the right track in the property and casualty insurance industry. However, we will continue to look for ways to improve the insurance market in Ohio to provide more choices for consumers and create more jobs for Ohioans.”
Ohio received one of only two “A+” grades and received the second highest overall score - behind Vermont – among the 51 U.S. jurisdictions that regulate insurance.
The study assessed nine variables regarding the regulatory environment. The variables were weighted based on their importance in preserving a free and competitive marketplace, giving greater weight to those variables that the Institute believes matters most to consumers. Ohio scored well for having consistent and clear rules; having a variety of competitors; and a regulatory environment that has high flexibility when reviewing rate filings and allowing the market forces to set rates.
According to the report, Ohio has climbed up the rankings in the past four years largely because of improvements in regulatory clarity. The report praises Ohio for having a very competitive insurance environment for consumers despite having many sizeable domestic carriers who often tend to dominate in their own states.
The Ohio Department of Insurance regulates the activities of approximately 970 companies appointed to sell property and casualty products. According to the NAIC Property and Casualty Market Share Report, Ohio ranks 8th in the country in total premiums written at more than $15 billion (2009 report).