State of Domicile

State of domicile meaning covers the specific state or states where an insurance company is licensed to operate and sell auto insurance policies. Insurance companies are required to abide by the auto insurance laws in their state of domicile to protect drivers from illegal business practices. Because auto insurance companies must be licensed to operate in their state of domicile, we know that there are 7,200 insurance companies registered in the United States. Enter your ZIP code below to start comparing auto insurance quotes for free from these licensed providers.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Oct 30, 2020

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The state of domicile is defined as the specific state under which an insurer is licensed (and chartered) to operate under that state’s individual statutes and regulations that apply to insurance companies. An insurance company is only allowed to conduct business for which it has been certified by the state of domicile.

How ‘State of Domicile’ Works

state of domicile

All states have a legal responsibility for controlling and regulating all the various different aspects of the insurance industry. They are committed to protecting consumers from unscrupulous practices and increased levels of risk, and to ensure that insurance companies are in the right financial position to adhere to the promises and guarantees made in insurance contracts.

One aspect of the regulations governing insurance company behavior is the legal requirement that all insurance companies which are domiciled in a state, obey the laws that govern that particular state. And all businesses that operate in any aspect of insurance including those that are not in their own right insurance companies (in that they do not issue policies or ultimately receive premiums) must comply with state regulations regarding their individual business practices.

No insurance company whether domiciled in a state or not may operate legally in any given state without a license to do so. The law states that all insurance businesses require a license to operate and that this license must be obtained prior to conducting any business with the public.

States take their obligations seriously and there are an estimated 7,200 companies in the United States operating in insurance. In the year 2000, individual state authorities revoked or suspended the licenses of nearly 300 insurance businesses for failing to comply with state regulations, the states also keep a record of fines handed down for more minor violations.

The state of domicile has additional responsibility for ensuring that insurance companies comply with the legal framework as it is their state that will deal with the fallout if an insurance company is found to be behaving in violation of the law.

In respect to individuals or companies that purchase insurance the term, state of domicile, can also be used to describe the state in which the individual resides or has their main residence or in the case of the company where the company is registered (and usually but not always the state where their head office is found).

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