From the November 2008 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

Insurance Information

While the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and the American Insurance Association (AIA) are calling for a federal Office of Insurance Information, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is asking for a different kind of information: the creation of a transaction platform that will allow state and federal regulators, as well as market participants, to research disclosures and review the details of transactions so that "markets become transparent, not opaque."

Maurice Perkins, VP of federal relations at ACLI, says that the immediate creation of an Office of Insurance Information (OII) would be beneficial in that it would allow the collection of publicly available information on insurance corporations. This, he says, would allow the federal government and the U.S. Treasury "to have knowledge of our industry which they currently do not. . . ."Stressing that the information to be collected by an OII would be "publicly available--information that the companies already furnish to NAIC," Perkins says that that office and its head would then be in a position to be a "principal advisor" to the President and to Congress on "domestic and international insurance policy issues."

NAIC has already stated that "state insurance regulators regularly collaborate with and provide information to our state and federal banking and securities counterparts." While more information is something to be welcomed, NAIC further suggests that banking regulators might want to have a look at state insurance regulation as a model for such issues as "restrictions on derivative activities; limits on high concentrations in investment types; and appropriate minimum capital and surplus requirements."--Marlene Y. Satter.

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