Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Greetings from The Goodwins!

The last 24 hours were frenetic - preparing for a special time with family and friends; enjoying Christmas Eve dinner with Melanie, the kids, and the in-laws; a late night reading by daughter, Madison, from Chapter 2 of the Gospel of Luke; the packaging and wrapping of some final gifts; a visit by you-know-who after midnight; an early, early morning with the children, both of whom were most excited by the morning's activities and the certain discovery of gifts and treats; and then, later in the morning, an inspiring time at Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh with our fellow Christians worshipping and celebrating the Good News.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Commissioner Goodwin Fights for Coastal NC to Rebuild, Recover Post-Hurricane Irene

Starting days before Hurricane Irene made landfall in eastern and coastal North Carolina and for four months thereafter, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has been personally and very directly involved with fighting for the rebuilding and recovery of of the Tar Heel state.

For examples of his work on Hurricane Irene matters from August through December 2011, go to here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

As you can see at the above links, Insurance Commissioner Goodwin - who also serves as the State Fire Marshal - first deployed his team into the field before the storm, helping fire departments and communities in advance of the storm. He sent out his investigators to go after scam artists, and activated the propery mediation program and prescription drug assistance program. Goodwin flew by helicopter over 15 stricken counties, touching down and touring three of them, all within 14 hours of Hurricane Irene departing the state.

Commissioner Goodwin has made no fewer than eleven personal trips to eastern and coastal North Carolina to view damage or to assist consumers and local governments with post-Irene issues.

During those visits, he has met with homeowners, business leaders, and locally-elected officials.

The Department and the Insurance Commissioner have also been dismayed - angered - by the acts of commission or omission perpetrated by private and public insurance adjusters, and third parties post-Irene. The Commissioner pledges further action in the near future on this topic once all investigations and analyses are completed.

Among the additional issues tackled by the Department of Insurance and Goodwin: Successfully encouraging FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to improve its services and be on the ground with homeowners at special Insurance Assistance Centers and to extend the period of time for proof of losses -- and addressing various, significant vacation travel insurance matters.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

NC Insurance Commissioner Continues to Clean Up Streets from Criminal Fraudsters

As noted on previous posts here and elsewhere, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and his dedicated team of law enforcement officers continue to clean up the streets of North Carolina. Go to here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Easily you will note that no fraud is too small for the Commissioner and his team to go after.

Since North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin took office in 2008, criminal investigators have received more than 11,500 complaints, resulting in 550 arrests, 300 criminal convictions, and more than 115 cases currently pending a court appearance. These arrests have resulted in more than $47.6 million in restitution and recoveries for victims.

These law enforcement results signal strong consumer protections at work.

Insurance scam artists, embezzlers and bamboozlers beware -- the Capeless Crusader will be on to you before you know it!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Insurance Commissioner Goodwin Engages Students, Business Leaders at ASU

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do ..." (with a nod to JFK and Ted Sorensen) - NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin speaking on 17 Nov 2011 to ASU students, faculty, and NC business leaders at Appalachian State University in beautiful Boone, North Carolina. College students from ASU, UNC-Charlotte, and East Carolina University were preparing for their annual "Insurance Jeopardy" competition.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin Announces Re-election Run, Raises Record Campaign Cash

RALEIGH – Before a crowd of more than 200 enthusiastic supporters, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin announced his bid for re-election last Thursday (Sept. 29). The 2012 kickoff was Goodwin’s most successful fundraiser ever, helping the campaign surpass an impressive and record-setting $345,000 in total donations for the re-election efforts thus far.

Goodwin, who also serves as State Fire Marshal, officially declared his intentions, telling the standing-room-only crowd that he “has more work to do” for the people of North Carolina:
“In 2008, I pledged stronger consumer protections, reforms of the Beach Plan, greater transparency, a crackdown on insurance fraud, greater outreach and accessibility by all persons and businesses the Department serves, and to be the strongest and most effective voice possible for our fire and rescue services.

In just three years, I have saved individuals, families and businesses across North Carolina more than $1 billion through rate cuts, refunds, rebates and restitution. We recovered $20 million last year alone in our fight against insurance fraud. And I’ve worked to ensure that the 300,000 licensees regulated by the Department more than ever meet our high levels of integrity.

I’m running for re-election because there is more work to do.

We have the lowest car insurance rates in the South and the eighth lowest in the country, but we’ve got more work to do. We’ve lowered workers’ compensation rates and tempered health insurance rates, but we’ve got more work to do. We’ve also fought for fairness to our agents and brokers who serve on the Main Streets all across the state to be counselors for consumers, but we’ve got more work to do.

And, we’ve fought to keep the federal government out of insurance regulation and preserve state-based insurance regulation. Consumers need an experienced advocate who has a proven record of fighting for them, and who will – even against the strongest of out-of-state insurance companies – stand up for consumers, fair rates and a choice in the marketplace every day. It is no accident that we have 20 percent more insurance companies choosing to provide coverage and services here than before I took office.”
Special honorary hosts for the event were former Governor Jim Hunt, former Chief Justice Henry Frye and Secretary of State Elaine Marshall.(*) The four sponsorship levels were comprised of a bipartisan group of supporters, representing the depth and diversity of Goodwin’s team as he builds momentum across the state for the 2012 election. A full listing of sponsors can be found at

# # #
*Unable to attend

Saturday, August 27, 2011

NC Insurance Commissioner Goodwin Breaks Re-election Fundraising Record

Raises More Than Quarter-Million Dollars Before 2012 Election Year; Doubles Previous Known State Record for the Office

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin's campaign for re-election in 2012 has hit a record milestone: He has raised more than double what his long-serving predecessor raised at this point in an election cycle.

Specifically, according to official campaign reports filed in July, North Carolina's state insurance regulator has raised more than $260,000 already and he hasn't even hit high gear yet. It is fourteen months until the General Election.

Reaching that plateau shatters the previous record for fundraising at this stage of the election cycle for North Carolina Insurance Commissioner.

His predecessor, the late Jim Long, apparently raised less than half of that amount in 2003 and 2007, the two most recent comparative reports one-year before an election. Long served 24 years as Commissioner.

Goodwin's support comes from a broad group of persons: Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters; consumers; insurance professionals; small business owners; and, business and industry leaders.

Seventy-three percent of his contributions come from individuals.

"I am deeply humbled and energized by the personal and financial support from such a broad, diverse, deep pool of citizens," said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. "The record that voters and I care about the most, though, is my record of saving more than $1 Billion already for individuals, families and businesses in our State."
On Goodwin's watch and due to his efforts, North Carolina has maintained the lowest car insurance rates in the South and has the eighth lowest rates in the nation even though it is the ninth-largest state.

Through his efforts and the work of his team, many new insurance companies have also flocked to the State for new licenses since 2009, a fact which signals strong competition and that further translates to good prices for customers.

Also, Commissioner Goodwin has saved individuals, families and North Carolina businesses more than $1 BILLION since taking the oath of office and his team has had tremendous success in fighting insurance fraud.

Furthermore, he has been a national leader on consumer protection and transparency in government. Voters, industry officials, and insurance regulator peers have heralded his reasonable, non-partisan, common-sense approach to leadership.

Political professionals regularly report that successful fundraising early on in an election cycle is indicative of a strong campaign with strong support, and is further enhanced by incumbency.

Filing for re-election occurs in February 2012.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Insurance Commissioner Goodwin Fines CIGNA Healthcare of North Carolina $600,000

As a consequence, company also issues refunds and credits of $638,000 to overcharged policyholders. Total impact: $1.3 MILLION.

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced a settlement with CIGNA Healthcare of North Carolina, Inc. over violations discovered during a routine market conduct examination. The settlement resulted in a fine of $600,000 on top of the refund of $638,000 to policyholders (individuals and businesses). As required by state law, the monetary penalty component collected will be distributed to the state public school system.

During CIGNA's market conduct examination that began in September 2005 and covered the period of 2002 through 2004, the Department of Insurance found a variety of violations including, but not limited to:
•widespread failure to maintain adequate records in numerous areas of review;
•failure to accurately and consistently calculate premium rates in accordance with rating methodology filed with and approved by the Department;
•failure to timely process precertification requests;
•failure to provide proof of the required provisions for written noncertification notifications including instructions regarding members' rights to external review, retrospective reviews and authorizations to providers;
•failure to require verification of all provider credentials;
•failure to properly process claims resulting in incorrect payments or improper denials;
•failure to process claims timely; failure to send acknowledgment letters within three business days for member grievances and failure to include all required statutory provisions within acknowledgment and decision letters;
•failure to provide written notification of decisions for member grievances within 30 days of receipt;
•failure to submit accurate filings certifying compliance with North Carolina advertising laws;
•failure to sufficiently monitor the activities of delegated entities; and
•failure to obtain Department approval prior to executing intermediary agreements.
In addition to the $600,000 fine, refunds and credits totaling $637,974.98 were issued to affected employer group policyholders due to the company's failure to accurately and consistently calculate premium rates. Undercharges in excess of $1.3 million that occurred during the same time period as the overcharges were factored in when determining the credits and refunds.
"My team and I take the job of consumer protection very seriously," said Insurance Commissioner Goodwin. "When I do my job, consumers are better protected, people and Tar Heel businesses save lots of money, firefighters have a fierce advocate, and we are better able to attract lots of jobs," said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. ... And in this instance, our Department of Insurance team also greaty benefited North Carolina's public schools."

Refunds were issued in August 2010; however CIGNA was unable to reach some of the affected employer groups. To see a list of companies still owed a refund, visit CIGNA's website by clicking on this link, or call CIGNA at 704-540-3021 for more information.

Cigna Healthcare of North Carolina, Inc Premium Reimbursements 2002 Through 2004

To date, since January 2009 when Goodwin took the oath of office, North Carolina consumers - individuals, families and businesses - have saved through refunds, rebates, credits, restitution, recoveries, and penalties more than $950 MILLION.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Insurance Commissioner Goodwin Has Action-Packed First Two Months of New Year! Here's a Representative Sample:

Attends Economic Forecast & Chamber Events

Two of the first public events North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin participated in or attended in 2011 were sponsored by the North Carolina Bankers Association, the North Carolina Chamber, the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, and many other leading business organizations. Speaker after speaker discussed the difficulties of the last year and how the business community anticipated the coming year would fare in the universal goal of the State emerging from the Great Recession stronger than before. There was also considerable musing as to what the new legislative majorities would mean for the direction of public policy and economic growth in the State.

Because insurance is interwoven throughout both economic and family enterprises, Goodwin was pleased to remind attendees that in his role he and his team had saved North Carolina families and businesses approximately $900 MILLION statewide in rate cuts, refunds, consumer claims regulation, and from fighting insurance fraud.
"And we accomplished these tremendous savings in just the first two years of my administration," said Goodwin.
During dire economic times or not, almost $1 BILLION in savings is an amazing result from North Carolina's Insurance Commissioner!

Goodwin also attended these events last year, as highlighted at this link.

Speaks to Insurance Agents, Community Groups, and Schools

Though visiting schools and fire departments are some of his favorites stops as state Insurance Commissioner, Wayne Goodwin also enjoys meeting both with the persons his office regulates as well as with community leaders.

Over the course of the first two months of 2011, Goodwin has made presentations and delivered remarks to citizens and business groups throughout the State - including Sampson, Guilford, Wake, Durham, Dare, Cumberland, Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Craven, Edgecombe, Wilson, Forsyth, and Johnston counties.
"When you regulate more than 300,000 licensees and serve as the State's fire chief for 53,000 first responders, and with 9 million citizens in the State, there's always going to be a great deal of public speaking, Q&A sessions, and official events," said Insurance Commissioner Goodwin. "I enjoy my job serving North Carolina!"

He also joined in a program with River Dell Elementary School in Johnston County wherein he highlighted the statewide and interstate travels of "Flat Stanley" with the Commissioner, and was one of the leading State officials participating in the Chairman's Banquet for the NC Black Leadership Caucus, an organization of which Goodwin is a lifetime member, and which met at the North Carolina Motor Speedway.

Strategizes on Good Government Reforms
"Good government" means different things to different people. Among the common denominators of those individual definitions are probably: Government that is honest, law-abiding, responsive, responsible, reasonable, frugal with the public treasury, protective of those who cannot protect themselves, respectful of diversity in myriad ways among the citizenry, and focused on the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution.

"Good government" also means, to many people, a system of government that encourages the maximum level of participation by citizens in the process of government - whether as voters, speakers at public meetings or other public squares, or as candidates or office holders, among others.

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has a long record of supporting good government in the broadest sense and was very pleased to participate in Statewide discussions on the subject hosted by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem. Persons from across the ideological spectrum and from a variety of academic, business, civic, philanthropic, political, and religious organizations participated.

Hails NC Successes to Texas, Florida and Southeast Leaders

North Carolina is the envy of many States.

That statement - to North Carolinians - asserts the obvious.

But in its most objective sense, state Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin is able to attest to his State being admired and coveted by others in the Republic.

Over the last few months, business and government officials in Florida and Texas have sought him out and hosted presentations by Insurance Commissioner Goodwin on the work of his administration. (In the preceding year he has also made presentations to leaders nationally throughout the Southeastern United States, and in Louisiana, New York, and California.)

Among the great many things those States might possibly admire about North Carolina (e.g., its climate, its beaches and mountains, college basketball, business environment, top-notch university and community college systems), those States have honed in on:
how Goodwin has done much to improve greatly the coastal insurance "ticking time bomb" that he faced when sworn in after his 2008 election,

how there has been a 20% increase in the number of insurance companies choosing to write insurance in North Carolina since he took office (which gives citizens more options and better rates),

his official orders of $156 MILLION in health insurance refunds and $50 MILLION in automobile insurance refunds to citizens,

how he and his team have worked tirelessly to do their duty in achieving some of the best insurance rates in the country, and overall savings to his State's citizens of $900 MILLION (all within the first two years of his term).

He is most proud of how North Carolina is now the largest State in the country with the lowest automobile insurance rates, while still maintaining a highly competitive auto insuror market.
"When I do my job, consumers are protected, people and Tar Heel businesses save lots of money, firefighters have a fierce advocate, and we are better able to attract lots of jobs," said Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin.

Announces Major Fraud/Crime Ring Arrests, Record Restitution & Recoveries for Fraud Victims

State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, as noted elsewhere, is a crime fighter.

Early in 2011 he joined the Sheriffs of Edgecombe and Nash Counties in announcing the crackdown on an insurance fraud/automobile accident crime ring.

As noted in official reports,
Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of 10 individuals involved in an alleged staged auto accident ring operating in Nash, Edgecombe and Franklin counties. Warrants have been issued for six other individuals believed to be involved.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators allege that brothers Howard Earl Whitfield, Jr., and Douglas Whitfield (warrant issued for arrest) were the ringleaders in conspiring with family members and others to stage auto accidents in an effort to defraud insurance companies. Investigators accuse them of filing insurance claims for accidents that never actually occurred and of physically staging accidents in which one suspect intentionally hit another suspect's vehicle from behind.

As a result of the efforts of the alleged group, Universal Insurance, Farm Bureau Insurance of North Carolina, GMAC Insurance, Nationwide Insurance and Geico Insurance paid out a total of $76,217.48 in claims between August 2009 and January 2010.


These arrests are the result of cooperation and joint investigation by the Department of Insurance, the Nash County Sheriff's Office and the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office.

The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating claims of insurance fraud. In 2010, these criminal investigators have seen more than 402 cases successfully closed with more than $21.1 million in restitution and recoveries, 88 criminal convictions and 126 arrests."

North Carolina's Insurance Commissioner is serious about his role as a crimefighter, and reminds readers about how it was one of his top goals when seeking election to the office.
"While my team and I are on the watch, criminals better watch out when they consider committing insurance fraud," said Goodwin.
He also heralded the record number of case closures and restitution in a given year by his Criminal Investigations Division, the oldest such unit among the nation's state insurance regulators, and recoveries by his Consumer Services Division.
"Department of Insurance criminal investigators are cracking down on the serious problem of insurance fraud," said Commissioner Goodwin. "Getting millions and millions of dollars back into the hands of victims of insurance fraud is a significant accomplishment."
An estimated 10 percent of all insurance claims involve some degree of fraud. When insurance companies pay for fraudulent claims, all consumers pay in the form of higher insurance premiums.
"As your Insurance Commissioner, I am working to keep insurance premiums as low as possible for North Carolinians; fighting fraud is an important step towards reaching that goal," Goodwin said.
More video coverage of the press conference led by Goodwin and the sheriffs appears here at this link.

Receives AARP Award

AARP-North Carolina has recognized the Seniors Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) for its outstanding work for North Carolinians.
On hand for the occasion was state Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, within whose department resides the SHIIP program.

Goodwin joined the North Carolina's AARP leaders in praising the work of Senior Deputy Commissioner Carla Obiol and her team.
"It makes me so proud for our SHIIP team to receive recognition for its outstanding work on behalf of Tar Heel senior citizens," added Goodwin. "And for the honor to come from the AARP - itself known nationally for its dedicated leadership for seniors - makes us even more humbled."

Thanks Firefighters, Presents State's Highest Honor

State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin - who also serves as Insurance Commissioner - expressed appreciation to firefighters across eastern North Carolina during his January 2011 stop in New Bern. During a fundraiser for area first responders, he also presented the State's highest civilian honor, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, on behalf of the Governor to Tommy Moore.
Photo credit: Charlie Hall, New Bern Sun Journal.

Visits, Speaks for East Carolina University

Over the course of just a few months, East Carolina University in Greenville has hosted Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin for two different, yet related, meetings with students and faculty. First, Goodwin met with student business major leaders and lectured for a class within the newly-created insurance program at the university. Then, several months later, he joined local and state business leaders, including the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina, in honoring students who had completed their coursework in the inaugural insurance program at ECU.
"ECU is not only a world class university in its own right, with a top-notch medical school, but it now provides the tools to train the next generation of insurance producers," said Commissioner Goodwin. "Programs like at ECU, Appalachian State, and UNC-Charlotte help ensure that future insurance agents and brokers are high caliber and of premier integrity, and who will serve consumers greatly in the years ahead."

Meets with Homebuilders/Realtors, Community Leaders, Democratic Women in Dare County

Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin maximized a February 2011 trip to eastern North Carolina, where he met with business and community leaders throughout Dare County and parts of Currituck County.

Among his stops in Nags Head, Manteo, and Kitty Hawk, he spent significant meeting with insurance agents, local elected city and county officials, and board members of the local homebuilder and realtors associations.
Wearing his other hat - State Fire Marshal - Goodwin made a presentation and answered questions for a gathering of local fire chiefs and personnel from at least five departments.
Rounding out his visit, Goodwin delivered a spirited speech to more than 100 supporters attending the monthly meeting of the Democratic Women of Dare County at the famous Lone Cedar Restaurant, owned by retired State Senator Marc Basnight. Robin Mann, local leader and businesswoman, invited and introduced the Commissioner to the crowd.

As reported in the Island Free Press:
It did feel good to know that the consumer has someone [Goodwin] who is listening to us,” Robin Mann said, “and is as concerned as us with what’s happening in the insurance industry.”
Goodwin regularly travels throughout the State, especially in eastern North Carolina.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

NC Insurance Commissioner Helps Lead Raleigh "People's Processional" to Ring in New Year

For a News & Observer photo of NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin marching in the People's Processional on December 31, 2010, go to this link here. This parade is the City of Raleigh's regular prelude to the big countdown to midnight and welcoming the new year.

Tens of thousands of revelers gathered along the parade route, with many hundreds of persons also in the parade.

Standing in front of Commissioner Goodwin are his daughter, Madison, and niece, Autumn, both of whom are holding the parade banner. To the left of him is NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall.

"It is both fitting and proper for me to participate in the 'People's Processional' because it is my job - my duty - to protect our people each and every day, making sure that every day folks have access to insurance that is fairly priced and in a market that's solvent," said Insurance Commissioner Goodwin.

Goodwin Launches Re-vamped Campaign, Facebook Websites for New Year

Now that 2011 began mere minutes ago, please visit North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin's brand new campaign Facebook page (I hope you'll "Like It" and recommend it to your Facebook friends!) and also take a short stroll through his completely revised, new campaign website which is linked on the site and in this very sentence.

Both the website homepage ( and the Facebook wall have a short intro video from Commissioner Goodwin on them.

Happy New Year, friends and visitors ... Onward to 2012!