Frequently asked questions

1. What is a Certificate of Authority, and do we need one?

A Certificate of Authority is issued by a state department of insurance to confirm the power of an insurer to write contracts of insurance in that state. If your company wishes to expand by writing insurance in another state, you must have one.

2. How do we approach an analysis of expanding our operations?

The first step to expansion involves a review of your company’s business and financial situation. After we obtain a thorough understanding of your goals and objectives, then we review the specific requirements of each state and propose a growth plan. We identify all obstacles and determine how to creatively approach each state in which you wish to do business (our specialty).

3. How can we improve our AM Best Rating?

Risk concentration makes a company susceptible to regulatory and competitive pressures. The inherent market risks associated with being in a limited geographic area can be reduced significantly by expanding your company into additional states. Such expansion will improve your AM Best Rating. If an improved rating is your goal, we can easily and cost efficiently make that happen for your company.

4. We would like to expand our Certificates of Authority to increase the company’s franchise value. In light of that objective, what should our geographic expansion look like?

If your company’s main goal is to expand for franchise value, a company must focus on growing as quickly as possible. Sometimes this means avoiding markets that are more heavily regulated. J. Lash & Company analyzes which states to enter and when based upon your company’s strengths and our knowledge of the US regulatory environment at the time you wish to expand.

5. What is the process to expand our insurance company into other states?

The expansion process begins with an analysis of which states you wish to enter (described above). A formal application is prepared and filed with the state insurance department. A regulator will review the application, and a decision is made. Throughout this process, J. Lash & Company uses our channels within the insurance department to ensure a positive and timely licensing decision.

6. Why shouldn’t we try to apply for Certificates of Authority on our own?

The process of obtaining approval is complicated and nuanced and many companies don’t meet all the regulations exactly. Our strong recommendation is to develop a comprehensive strategy before contacting or submitting information to a State. Improper exposure can hamper future success with the state regulators. Our analysis and expertise yields success and high return on investment for our clients.


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