Judi French Appointed as Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance

Gov. DeWine recently announced the appointment of former Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court Judith French as Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI). Justice French left the Court last month after losing her re-election bid to Jennifer Brunner.

Judi French will bring a unique and extensive experience to ODI. She has had a remarkable career serving in Ohio’s judicial system on the Supreme Court and the 10th District Court of Appeals. Director French authored a number of cases on insurance issues and has much familiarity with the industry.

OIA has had a longstanding relationship with Director French and looks forward to working with her on continuing to strengthen Ohio’s competitive insurance marketplace. OIA has several priorities we are pursuing with ODI in 2021, including:

  • Reviewing the structure of agent appointment fees and funding for the department. We want to ensure that all distribution models of insurance pay their fair share in protecting Ohio’s insurance consumers. Currently, the overwhelming majority of ODI’s fee revenue comes from traditional forms of insurance distribution – independent and captive agents. Direct/Internet-based insurance companies pay minimal appointment fees because their model does not utilize agents, however, they have increasing premium volume and consumer complaints.
  • Continued implementation of Ohio’s insurance cybersecurity law as the due diligence requirements for third-party service takes effect March 20th
  • Modernizing Ohio’s insurance agent education requirements to better meet the professional development needs of agents in the changing insurance education marketplace
  • Making commonsense updates to Ohio’s antiquated anti-rebating statute so that it works in today’s environment

We will work to get Director French and her team on an upcoming webinar so we can learn about her priorities in leading ODI. Please contact Carolyn Mangas, OIA’s Government Affairs Manager for any questions or thoughts on this appointment.

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