North Carolina Department of Insurance
What We Do May Surprise You
We work hard to serve the citizens and businesses in this state and we do so in a variety of ways, some of which may surprise you. Learn more about your Department of Insurance by reading below and by visiting the homepages of our insurance divisions and the Office of State Fire Marshal. Convenient links to each are on the menu above.
The General Assembly created the North Carolina Department of Insurance in 1899. Licensing and supervision of insurance companies were previously delegated to the Secretary of State’s office, but a group of insurance agents felt a specific state agency dedicated to overseeing the insurance industry was needed. Lawmakers agreed, and the Department of Insurance was established on March 6, 1899.
Now, more than 100 years later, the Department of Insurance provides valuable services to the people of North Carolina by regulating the insurance industry, licensing insurance professionals and others, educating consumers about different types of insurance, handling consumer complaints, and much, much more. The Department also houses the Office of State Fire Marshal, which is responsible for a host of other services that improve North Carolinians’ daily lives. With some 400 employees and 20 divisions, much of what the Department of Insurance does directly affects you as a citizen, though you may not realize it.
You probably think the Department regulates insurance companies and agents — you are correct, we do. Any insurance business in this state first must be approved by the Commissioner, and companies and agents must meet rigorous standards before they receive a license to do that business. But did you know we also provide other services not directly associated with insurance? Some of the things we do that may surprise you include:
- licensing bail bondsmen
- overseeing motor clubs and collection agencies
- protecting consumers from fraud and illegal behavior with a staff of sworn law enforcement officers in our Investigations Division
- educating North Carolinians about safety issues such as child safety seats, fire protection, natural disaster preparation and other family safety issues
- interpreting the state’s building codes and suggesting new and improved codes to further protect citizens
- obtaining and maintaining insurance coverage for all state-owned buildings, including such items as the Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington and the campuses of the state university system
- assisting the elderly and others with Medicare and Medicaid questions through our nationally recognized Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program
Overall, we strive to provide high quality service to North Carolinians across the state. If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to contact us in Raleigh or at one of our regional offices in New Bern or Asheville.