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Judith French, Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, Discusses Department’s Approach to Regulating Insurance

As part of the Calfee NOW video series, the recently appointed Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) and prior Ohio Supreme Court Justice, Judith French, sat down  for a brief chat with Calfee’s James Sullivan.

Here are some highlights of interest for Calfee’s policyholder clients:

  • Key function of ODI – to protect and educate insurance consumers, not only addressing complaints, but also helping them make decisions about insurance
  • Reach of ODI – Ohio is the 7th largest insurance market in the country, with ODI regulating 300,000 insurance agents and 260 insurance companies that transact some amount of insurance business in Ohio, and with the state of Ohio employing over 100,000 people in the insurance industry
  • Key current priority of ODI – its emerging products initiative, focusing on using technology to improve insurance products and entertaining new ways of approaching risk management proposed by insurers and policyholders alike
  • Philosophy of dealing with Ohio corporate and individual citizens – while fundamentally a regulator ensuring fairness and solvency in the insurance markets and compliance with Ohio’s laws, ODI very much welcomes and desires input from all stakeholders (insurance companies, corporate policyholders, and individual policyholders) regarding all forms of insurance
  • Role in COVID-19 business interruption insurance coverage issues – ODI recognizes that it’s a critically important issue to many Ohio policyholders and insurer citizens alike, and while ultimately the insurance policy contracts between insurers and policyholders govern those relationships, ODI is closely monitoring the landscape, including the ongoing litigation that will ultimately govern and shape the outcome of the topic
  • Other COVID-19 insurance issues – ODI has taken steps to protect policyholders and the insurance markets from adverse impacts of COVID-19, including prohibiting certain cancelations of auto insurance, suspending pharmacy audits, and implementing enhanced remote access for things such as insurance license examinations

Calfee’s decades-old policyholder insurance practice focuses on all policyholder needs, including assisting with the placement of insurance, assessing existing insurance programs, facilitating insurance aspects of M&A deals, and making insurance companies pay insurance claims. In addition to advising many clients on COVID-19 business interruption insurance issues over the past year, Calfee’s attorneys more broadly serve clients on all insurance policy types, including directors and officers (D&O), commercial general liability (CGL), cyber, employment practices (EPL), and property, among many others. The recording with transcript of the Calfee NOW discussion between James Sullivan and Judith French is available here. 

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