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In 1879, the first Insurance Commissioner was appointed to be chief officer of the newly created Insurance Department. His duties were to see that all laws respecting insurance companies were faithfully executed; to require and record certified copies of insurance companies’ charters and the names and residences of agents; to investigate any insurance company upon the written request of five or more policy holds insured for ten thousand dollars, for which purpose he had free access to all books and papers of any company, the authorization to examine any agent under oath, and the power to administer the affairs of the company to ensure fair business practices; to report insolvent or certified companies; to annually ascertain the net value of all policies of each life insurance company; to withdraw the authority of companies not having the net value of their policies in force; to report biennially to the General Assembly; to publish a list of certified companies; to annually ascertain the net value of all policies of each life insurance company; to withdraw the authority of companies not having the net value of their polices in force; to report biennially to the General Assembly the affairs of the Department and to send copies of this report to the Insurance Commissioners in other states and to all companies doing business in Delaware; and to “carefully preserve in permanent form” all papers and records of the Department to be passed on to his/her successor. The Governor, the State Auditor, and the Insurance Commissioner determined the amount of insurance to be carried on state property with the Commissioner being responsible for having and keeping said property insured. This act was amended slightly in 1881, 1931, 1933, and 1968, but the duties and powers of the Commissioner essentially remain the same,1 while the agency is now called the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
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1 16 D.L., ch. 347; 22 D.L., ch. 99; 37 D.L., ch. 52; 38 D.L., ch. 43; 56 D.L., ch. 380.
jmm/April 23, 1988; June 13, 1988