During the period Idaho was a territory, and after statehood until 1901, insurance companies doing
business in Idaho were governed under a special chapter of the States
general corporations law. After Idaho became a state, it appears the Treasurer
was responsible for administering these laws and was the ex officio
Insurance Commissioner. The Department has an original copy of the Annual
Report of the Insurance Commissioner for the year ending April 30, 1900, filed
by State Treasurer Lucius C. Rice. As of April 1900, there were 516 companies
and 4,565 agents licensed in Idaho.
On March 18, 1901, House Bill 115 was signed into law by the Governor and went immediately into effect.
It was titled, An Act to Provide for an Insurance Commissioner, Defining
his Duties and Regulating his Compensation, and to Regulate License Insurance
in this State, and to Repeal Existing Laws in Relation Thereto. This
law created the position of Insurance Commissioner to oversee the regulation
of insurers in Idaho.The Insurance Commissioner was appointed by the Governor,
with the advice and consent of the Senate, and served a two-year term.
The 1901 insurance law was entirely rewritten in 1911. The new law created an Insurance Department
as a distinct department charged with the execution of all laws in relation
to insurance companies doing business in this State. It further provided
for the appointment of a State Insurance Commissioner and Deputy Insurance
Commissioner, and significantly expanded the insurance code.
In 1919, a law was passed to reorganize the civil departments of the State. It took effect
on March 31, 1919, and created a new department called the Department of Commerce
and Industry. This law abolished the Insurance Department and the offices
of the Insurance Commissioner and Deputy Insurance Commissioner, and vested
their powers in the newly formed Department of Commerce and Industry. This
act also created the Department of Finance.
The Department of Commerce and Industry created in 1919 turned out to be short-lived. Two years later,
effective March 15, 1921, a law was passed that abolished the Department of
Commerce and Industry and transferred its rights, powers
and duties to the Department of Finance. That bill granted to the Department
of Finance and its Commissioner the power to execute the laws relating to
insurance and insurance companies. After this reorganization, the Director
of Insurance and the Manager of State Industrial Insurance became officers
overseeing bureaus under the Finance Commissioner. This arrangement lasted
for the next 36 years.
On July 7, 1947, a law went into effect recreating the Office of Commissioner
of Insurance. The 1947 law transferred the insurance regulatory powers of
the Commissioner of Finance and the Director of Insurance to the Commissioner
of Insurance in effect, going full circle back to the 1901 arrangement.
In 1961, the insurance code was again rewritten and provided for a Department
of Insurance and Commissioner of Insurance.In 1974, the Commissioner of Insurance
was changed to Director.
1901 1911: Insurance
1911 1919: Department of Insurance, Insurance Commissioner & Deputy
1919 1921: Department of Commerce and Industry
1921 1947: Department of Finance with Insurance Director overseeing
Bureau of Insurance
1947 1961: Office of Insurance Commissioner
1961 1974: Department of Insurance, Commissioner of Insurance
1974 Department of Insurance, Director