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Insurance Regulatory

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Our Insurance Regulatory Group is comprised of former senior regulators with more than 50 years of combined service at the highest levels of state insurance departments, senior public policy advisors and lawyers experienced in the expanding role of the federal government in insurance regulation, and seasoned attorneys who have spent decades representing the insurance industry in regulatory and legislative matters.

Practice Overview

Overview

Our Insurance Regulatory Group is comprised of former senior regulators with more than 50 years of combined service at the highest levels of state insurance departments, senior public policy advisors and lawyers experienced in the expanding role of the federal government in insurance regulation, and seasoned attorneys who have spent decades representing the insurance industry in regulatory and legislative matters. We have experience on all sides of the regulatory equation, and understand the business, legal and regulatory challenges of all types of insurance including:

  • Commercial
  • Credit
  • Disability
  • Health
  • Life and annuities
  • Reinsurance
  • Residual markets
  • Professional liability
  • Property and Casualty
  • Surplus lines
  • Title
  • Wind pools
  • Workers' compensation

Our Services

With a team comprised of former senior state insurance regulators, leaders in federal insurance-related legislative and public policy issues, former in-house industry lawyers, attorneys familiar with all types of compliance challenges and financial and market conduct examinations, attorneys with experience on the management and actuarial side of the industry, and attorneys with decades of experience as lead counsel in high profile class action and industry-changing litigation, the Baker Donelson Insurance Regulatory Group quite literally understands the insurance industry and its regulatory world, inside and out.

Our clients range from small companies to multi-national financial services holding companies. Because of our leadership experience in large-scale, extraordinary insurance challenges and the depth of our insurance regulatory team, we are especially well-positioned to assist clients facing unusually complex and significant challenges.

Catastrophic Disasters: We have unmatched, extraordinary experience in responding to the insurance challenges which follow hurricanes and other catastrophic disasters. Hurricane Katrina brought unprecedented losses to the insurance industry and extraordinary regulatory challenges. As Mississippi Insurance Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, respectively, team members George Dale and Lee Harrell managed all activities of the Mississippi Insurance Department in the protracted aftermath of that disaster. They and other team members handled tens of thousands of claims; massive class action claims-related litigation; state and federal fraud investigations; state and federal legislative proposals; company insolvencies, withdrawals and rate adjustments; wind pool disputes and litigation; comprehensive market conduct and claims resolution target examinations; and the design and implementation of new remediation, claims settlement and mitigation programs. When coupled with the experience and capabilities of our Disaster Recovery and Government Services Practice group, we are uniquely qualified to assist state and local governments, the insurance industry, and the private sector in identifying and overcoming the large scale, complex and often unanticipated challenges of such events.

Compliance and Self Audits: Our team of former state regulators, former senior inside lawyers for insurance companies, and senior trial attorneys have been involved on all sides of financial and market conduct examinations, giving us a wrap-around perspective on how to conduct, prepare for and respond to regularly scheduled examinations and complex, public, highly contested "for cause" examinations. We collaborate with consulting actuaries, independent auditors and certified public accountants to help our clients when needed. We always try to resolve financial and market conduct issues promptly without protracted hearings or litigation, and without creating additional legal or regulatory issues. But if a hearing or litigation is necessary, we have the experience and manpower to aggressively defend and protect our clients.

Consultation and Strategic Planning: Our team members are experienced in evaluating, planning for, and responding to every conceivable type of complex regulatory matter on both the state and federal level. Our broad experience in federal health care legislation and regulation, federal health insurance regulation, and state insurance regulation enables us to bring added value to both state insurance departments and health insurance companies developing action plans and long term strategies in response to the federal Affordable Care Act.

Fraud and White Collar Crime: Our team has experience on the investigative, prosecutorial and defense sides of insurance related criminal matters, giving us a full understanding of the regulator's duty to investigate fraud and recover assets, the government's authority and discretion to prosecute, and the defendant's right to an aggressive defense. Team members have both prosecuted and defended against civil penalties and restitution claims, and have been deeply involved in all aspects of complicated, multi-state insolvencies and asset recovery efforts on behalf of receivers/liquidators and other parties. We have also represented multiple clients appearing as witnesses before federal and state grand juries.

Industry and Trade Association Support: Former Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale, former Deputy Commissioner Lee Harrell, and other members of our team routinely participate in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) meetings and are familiar with the leadership role played by NAIC on both state and federal levels, including under the Affordable Care Act. We regularly attend meetings of the Southeastern Regulators Association (SERA) and coordinate with other trade associations on various insurance matters. Our active participation in these organizations enables us to provide our clients with the up-to-date, inside knowledge and support they need to accomplish their goals.

Insolvencies and Asset Recoveries: We have represented insurance departments and companies in complicated, multi-state insolvencies and asset recovery proceedings and litigation, including some of the largest and most highly publicized insurance fraud cases on record. We have also placed and defended companies in administrative supervision and liquidation, and have consistently achieved favorable results.

Licensing: We routinely work with state departments of insurance across the country and are experienced in multi-state insurance-related licensees of all types, such as for producers, agencies, third party administrators, managing general agents, health maintenance organizations, preferred provider organizations and utilization review companies. Our experience with numerous state insurance regulators is especially helpful in handling multi-state licensing engagements on an efficient and cost-effective basis.

Organizational and Transactional Matters: Our attorneys have represented clients in all types of organizational and transactional matters ranging from the formation of insurance companies to reorganizations to dissolutions and everything in between. We have formed insurers, reinsurers and captive companies, and have obtained the necessary Certificates of Authority to operate these entities. We have experience with a wide variety of reinsurance matters, including assumption and proportional and excess indemnity. We have handled the creation, expansion and liquidation of holding company systems and other reorganizations, and corporate restructurings including mutualizations, demutualizations and redomestications. We have accomplished all types of insurance company mergers and acquisitions, including multi-state and cross-entity statutory mergers, share exchanges, recapitalizations and asset acquisitions.

Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Other Federal Regulation: We monitor federal and state actions related to ACA daily and advise a wide range of stakeholders on its challenges. We regularly assist state insurance departments and companies with premium rate review requirements, medical loss ratio issues, essential health benefits and health insurance exchange regulations, and other compliance issues under ACA. We have also advised numerous clients on other areas of federal oversight of the health care and health insurance industries for many years, including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Sarbanes-Oxley, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and other federal statutes and regulatory schemes applicable to health care and health insurance.

Privacy, Data Security, Confidentiality and Document Production: Our attorneys are familiar with the various privacy laws including GLB, HIPAA, HITECH and other federal and state requirements, and are well-versed in all types of privacy, data security and document management issues. We have assisted clients in responding to security breaches and have successfully minimized the potential harm to all parties. We can assist clients in developing, testing and monitoring a seamless, privacy-based data security system. We have initiated and responded to numerous public records and Freedom of Information Act requests. We have direct experience in preserving the confidentiality of company records disclosed to regulators in market conduct and financial examinations. Our team also routinely manages electronic discovery and document production requests and subpoenas, including those in connection with state and federal criminal proceedings.

Public Policy Initiatives: We often help our clients with public policy initiatives, legislative lobbying, and administrative advocacy at both the state and federal levels. We develop and execute multi-tiered policy campaigns, and draft, monitor, promote and/or work against legislation on a single and multi-state basis and in Washington. We often help shape specific state and federal administrative actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations, and have testified before state administrative and legislative bodies and before the United States Congress.

Rate Hearings, Administrative Enforcement Actions, Mediations and Litigation: We have participated in numerous administrative hearings and mediations; defended against state regulatory actions; played lead roles in guaranty fund disputes and litigation; managed multi-state judicial liquidations and asset recovery proceedings; defended class action litigation and regulatory inquiries related to insurance premium taxes, provider discounts, race-based premiums and claims practices following Hurricane Katrina; negotiated and litigated wind pool assessment disputes; and both managed and defended complicated financial and market conduct examinations.

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