WASHINGTON (December 16, 2020)—For the ninth year in a row, the R Street Institute has compiled its Insurance Regulation Report Card, an examination of how states regulate the business of insurance.

In the 2020 report, former R Street Director of Finance, Insurance and Trade R.J. Lehmann addresses three fundamental questions: How free are consumers to choose the insurance products they want? How free are insurers to provide the insurance products consumers want? How effectively are states discharging their duties to monitor insurer solvency and foster competitive, private insurance markets?

For the third year in a row, Louisiana has the worst score in the country, edging out second-to-worst New York. The biggest improvements were seen in South Dakota (from a C+ to an A); Alabama (from a C to a B-); Arizona (from an A- to an A+); and Colorado (from a D+ to a C). The biggest declines were seen in Vermont (from an A+ to a B) and West Virginia (from a C to a D+).

The author adds: “While Louisiana once again finished in last place in this assessment, the state Legislature and Gov. Edwards should be commended for seeking to tackle some of the cost drivers that long have made the Pelican State an unattractive place to do business. With the House Insurance Committee set to consider changes next year that could make the insurance commissioner’s position appointed, rather than elected, one holds out hope that Louisiana could improve its score in the years to come.”

He went on to say, “Perhaps the most surprising result in this year’s report was to see Vermont tumble from an A+ all the way down to a B. This breaks a six-year streak for Vermont as the best insurance regulatory environment in the United States and is only the second time in the nine years we have compiled this report that Vermont did not finish with the highest score.”

Read the full report card here.