Think Tank Gives Washington Insurance Commissioner a 'C'

The 'R' Street Institute, a new think tank focusing on free markets, has published its inaugural research project, a state-by-state report card on insurance regulation. The Institute measured states' performance based on fourteen standards, including including the concentration of home and auto insurance markets and relative size of residual markets; the effectiveness of state solvency and fraud regulation; the transparency and politicization of insurance regulation; the tax and fee burden placed on insurance markets and the proportion of fees used to support insurance regulation; and the relative freedom granted to insurers to set risk-based rates, including through the use of credit and territorial information.

The Institute ranked Vermont the best regulatory environment for insurance and Florida the worst. Washington State ranked in the bottom quarter at 39th, receiving a 'C' grade. Washington received the second lowest score on the standard "politicization," with the lowest score going to California.