Ohio Insurance Department Reorganizes Fraud Division

August 9, 2005

Ohio Insurance Director Ann Womer Benjamin today announced the reorganization of the Department’s Office of Investigative and Licensing Services to create a Fraud and Enforcement Division and a Market Regulation and Licensing Division, both of which will now report directly to the Director.

The Fraud and Enforcement Division of the Columbus-based Ohio Department of Insurance works to prevent, detect, investigate and assist in the prosecution of consumer and provider insurance fraud. The Market Regulation and Licensing Division investigates company wrongdoing in the marketplace and oversees agent and agency licensing.

Robert Smith, currently heading the Department’s investigation of allegations of bid rigging and other sales-related insurance activities in Ohio, will head up the Fraud and Enforcement Division. Melissa Hull, previously serving as interim head of the Office of Investigative and Licensing Services, was named Assistant Director of the new Market Regulation and Licensing Division.

The Ohio Department of Insurance regulates and licenses approximately 1,700 insurance companies, nearly 195,000 agents, and more than 15,000 insurance agencies, and monitors the financial solvency of the insurance industry in Ohio.

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