Bureau of Examination, Rehabilitation, and Guaranty (BERG) team from back left: Tracey Weaver, Alisa Pritchard, Danielle Hopp, Matthew Aidala, Kelly West, Laura Hufschmidt, Deputy Commissioner Tanisha Merced, Jasmine Jenkins, Beth Short, Hollylynn Ford, Sherry Wilson, Blake Synnestvedt, and Steven Carlson. From front left, Nicole Brittingham, Charles Santana, Rylynn Brown, Commissioner Trinidad Navarro, Dave Lonchar, Tom Hudson and Adrienne Lupo.
After anticipating accreditation from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in March at their meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, the Delaware Department of Insurance earned a five-year accreditation from the organization on June 23. The cancellation of the NAIC spring meeting due to COVID-19 led to a months-long delay in confirmation after the department completed on-site reviews in February. NAIC’s Financial Regulation Standards and Accreditation Committee’s intensive assessment consisted of an in-depth review of department regulations, state laws, financial analyses and examinations of companies, personnel practices, licensing, and interaction with domestic insurers.
Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro praised department staff for their performance: “Earning accreditation, along with such impressive feedback, speaks to our team’s hard work and expertise. This was my first accreditation process, but we have been planning for this for years by implementing key processes, working with the General Assembly to pass legislation, setting regulations, and investigating company financials. Our commitment to these sound management principals is representative of our commitment to the public.”
The accreditation renewal signals the department’s performance these specific areas, but also the achievement of widespread consumer protection – ensuring that companies are financially solvent safeguards their ability pay consumer claims when they arise without going under and taking paid premiums with them.
During the process of accreditation, a comprehensive, independent review of the department took place on-site in Delaware, with a focus on standards and processes related to the financial solvency of insurers domiciled in the state. The work of the Bureau of Examination, Rehabilitation, and Guaranty (BERG) team was scrutinized closely, and interviews were conducted with Commissioner Navarro and Deputy Insurance Commissioner Tanisha Merced. During the NAIC meeting on the matter, the committee praised the department’s leadership and the expertise of its staff.
“The decades of experience in our office show a passion for public service that is unmatched across the country, and I couldn’t be more proud of the hard work that went into earning this five-year accreditation,” said Deputy Insurance Commissioner Tanisha Merced.
BERG has many critical roles in the insurance management process, including reviewing applications to do business in Delaware and monitoring the financial operations of 1,800 foreign and 140 domestic insurers licensed in the state.
In total, Delaware-domiciled insurers held approximately $650 billion in assets at year-end 2019. BERG completed 26 financial exams and reviewed an additional 750 projects and form submissions in 2019, completing 485 hours of training as well. The work of BERG preserves a healthy, competitive market, while protecting the public.