The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) was created by the legislature in 1871. The original intent of OCI has not changed drastically over the past 125 years. In 1871, OCI was vested with broad powers to ensure that the insurance industry responsibly and adequately met the insurance needs of Wisconsin citizens. Today, OCI's mission is to lead the way in informing and protecting the public and responding to its insurance needs.
OCI performs a variety of tasks to protect insurance consumers and ensure a competitive insurance environment. OCI's major functions include:
- Reviewing insurance policies that are sold in Wisconsin to make sure they meet the requirements set forth in Wisconsin law;
- Conducting examinations of domestic and foreign insurers to ensure compliance with Wisconsin laws and rules;
- Monitoring the financial solvency of licensed companies to make sure that consumers have the insurance coverage they expect when they need it;
- Issuing licenses to the various parties involved in selling and marketing insurance products;
- Assisting insurance consumers with their insurance problems;
- Researching special insurance issues to understand and assess their impact on Wisconsin;
- Providing technical assistance on legislation and promulgating administrative rules to interpret insurance laws;
- Creating and distributing public information and consumer education pieces to educate people about insurance; and
- Operating a state life insurance fund, a property fund for the property owned by local units of government, and a patients compensation fund insuring health care providers for medical malpractice.