All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico require licensed insurers to assume some of an insolvent insurance company's policyholder liabilities. Guaranty associations are the mechanism by which solvent insurers bail out the policyholders of companies that fails. The lines of insurance covered by guaranty associations and the maximum amount paid on any claim vary considerably from one state to another. In most states, two different guaranty associations cover life and health insurance lines and property/casualty lines.

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