Insurance News

NCOIL Keeping Focus Against Adding A U.S. Insurance Unit

Posted on: February 5, 2010

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators said its upcoming March meeting will keep its focus on fighting proposals in Washington for legislation to create a federal insurance unit.

An NCOIL official said the group will continue to express concerns about the establishment of a Federal Insurance Office or Office of National Insurance during its Spring Meeting in March.

NCOIL said the meeting, to be held in South Carolina, will feature discussions on the potential overhaul of financial services regulation. Mike Humphreys, director of state-federal relations for NCOIL, said that of the plans currently in circulation in Washington, NCOIL membership continues to be most concerned with an FIO or ONI.

Mr. Humphreys said such an office, according to former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson?s blueprint, could be an ?immediate first step? to an optional federal insurance charter (OFC).

Mr. Humphreys said NCOIL will also continue to speak out against any inclusion of insurance in a Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA).

Additionally, Susan Nolan, executive director of NCOIL, said the group will discuss the National Association of Insurance Commissioners? (NAIC) National Insurance Supervisory Commission (NISC) proposal, but she said as of now the ball is in the NAIC?s court regarding setting up a summit to discuss the issue.

The NAIC?s proposal for a National Insurance Supervisory Commission is an attempt at regulatory reform with the goal of uniformity. It calls for an act of Congress to authorize states to form a body consisting of regulators, which states would join independently.

The commission would develop uniform regulatory standards in certain subject matters that states would later enact. But for states that fail to comply with the national standard, there would be federal preemption through a federal insurance office.

Ms. Nolan said NCOIL and the NAIC traded letters in December and there has been no subsequent discussion. NCOIL members have held to the position that any regulatory modernization initiative should include all stakeholders, Ms. Nolan said, and she noted, ?We really have not moved from that position? since the NAIC?s Winter National Meeting in December.

At that meeting, held in San Francisco, state legislators representing NCOIL and the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) expressed strong opposition to the NISC proposal, stating that it would preempt states? rights.

NCOIL said states? insurance regulators will be in attendance at the upcoming meeting, and Ms. Nolan said the group hopes to discuss the NISC proposal with them.

NU Online News Service, Feb. 2, 10:58 a.m. EST

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators said its upcoming March meeting will keep its focus on fighting proposals in Washington for legislation to create a federal insurance unit.

An NCOIL official said the group will continue to express concerns about the establishment of a Federal Insurance Office or Office of National Insurance during its Spring Meeting in March.

NCOIL said the meeting, to be held in South Carolina, will feature discussions on the potential overhaul of financial services regulation. Mike Humphreys, director of state-federal relations for NCOIL, said that of the plans currently in circulation in Washington, NCOIL membership continues to be most concerned with an FIO or ONI.

Mr. Humphreys said such an office, according to former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson?s blueprint, could be an ?immediate first step? to an optional federal insurance charter (OFC).

Mr. Humphreys said NCOIL will also continue to speak out against any inclusion of insurance in a Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA).

Additionally, Susan Nolan, executive director of NCOIL, said the group will discuss the National Association of Insurance Commissioners? (NAIC) National Insurance Supervisory Commission (NISC) proposal, but she said as of now the ball is in the NAIC?s court regarding setting up a summit to discuss the issue.

The NAIC?s proposal for a National Insurance Supervisory Commission is an attempt at regulatory reform with the goal of uniformity. It calls for an act of Congress to authorize states to form a body consisting of regulators, which states would join independently.

The commission would develop uniform regulatory standards in certain subject matters that states would later enact. But for states that fail to comply with the national standard, there would be federal preemption through a federal insurance office.

Ms. Nolan said NCOIL and the NAIC traded letters in December and there has been no subsequent discussion. NCOIL members have held to the position that any regulatory modernization initiative should include all stakeholders, Ms. Nolan said, and she noted, ?We really have not moved from that position? since the NAIC?s Winter National Meeting in December.

At that meeting, held in San Francisco, state legislators representing NCOIL and the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) expressed strong opposition to the NISC proposal, stating that it would preempt states? rights.

NCOIL said states? insurance regulators will be in attendance at the upcoming meeting, and Ms. Nolan said the group hopes to discuss the NISC proposal with them.

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