Another Example of the Data-Driven Economy Outrunning Regulators

By / 12.5.2014

Utah’s insurance regulators need to move into the 21st century. Apparently they have threatened to fine a company, Zenefits, for offering free human resource software. From Fortune:

Zenefits’ software helps small businesses manage all of their human resources functions in one place, such as health insurance, payroll, retirement funds and equity grants. The company gives its software away for free, taking a commission from vendors like insurance providers or brokerages.


Insurance providers have no problem with Zenefits, Conrad says, because the company sends them new clients. But the brokers—those middlemen from whom Zenefits is stealing commissions—face an obvious threat. (Zenefits is itself a licensed insurance broker.) 


This week that threat manifested itself in the form of a regulatory fight: Utah has moved to ban Zenefits from offering its software for free in the state. Utah Insurance Commissioner Todd Kiser sent a letter to the company outlining the ways Zenefits is breaking the law by offering free software.

Enough said.