Outgoing Kansas Commissioner Tenure Marked by Industry Growth

December 15, 2014

Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger says the insurance industry has grown from an $11 billion industry to a $17 billion one during the time she has been in office.

Praeger, who chose not to run for re-election this year, began her tenure as commissioner in 2003. In an announcement released Dec. 1, Praeger noted some of the accomplishments achieved by the Kansas Insurance Department during that time.

The amount of money sent to the state’s general fund from the KID increased from $94.9 million in fiscal year 2003 to $173.4 million in fiscal year 2014. The money comes from collected fees and insurance taxes from companies and agents.

Consumer complaints dropped from 5,757 actual filed complaints in 2003 to 2,696 in 2013. The amount of money recovered for consumers has dropped along with the number of consumer complaints. In FY 2003 the department recovered $7.58 million for policyholders over and above what the companies offered in initial settlements; that number in FY 2013 was $3.83 million.

The number of licensed agents boomed during the past 12 years, mostly due to the increase in nonresident agents doing business in the state. In 2003 there were 23,292 resident agents and 33,768 nonresident agents. As of late November 2014 there were 22,535 resident and 92,284 nonresident agents for a total of 114,819.

The number of full-time insurance department employees decreased from 157 full-time employees in 2003 to the current count of 123. That reduction has been possible because of enhancements to computerized processes, natural job attrition and the willingness of long-time employees to absorb the workload.

More than 240 additional companies have been licensed to do business in Kansas since 2003.

“I’m proud of the accomplishments of the department and our staff members during my tenure. I believe, on the whole, we have done a good job of balancing the three-legged stool of regulation, education and advocacy,” Praeger said.

Praeger recently received the President’s Award for Distinguished NAIC Member Leadership from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Ken Selzer, an executive managing director at reinsurance broker Aon Benfield, was elected as the state’s new insurance commissioner and will take office in January.

Source: Kansas Insurance Department

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