Regulators’ Charge For 2002:
Implement, Implement, Implement
The charge of insurance regulators for the coming year can be summed up in one word: Implement.
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Leaders of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners say they are determined to implement initiatives that started in 2000 and got temporarily put on hold following the events of Sept. 11.
“The big challenge will be moving forward with implementation,” says Terri Vaughan, the new president of the Kansas City, Mo.-based NAIC, and Iowa insurance commissioner.
Those initiatives include speed-to-market and market conduct efforts that are now being forged by regulators and insurers.
Efforts to create a more efficient regulatory system are well underway as witnessed by work on the Coordinated Advertising Rate and Form Review Authority and on the Improvement to State-based Systems project, Vaughan continues.
But more needs to be done in order to successfully implement these programs, she says. For instance, Vaughan says that to date, just one product has been filed under CARFRA, a pilot project to create a single point of filing for products.
Work has to be done to get rid of state deviations and create a more uniform system, she says. “It will be hard work done state by state.”
This involves changing laws as well as regulations and that means working with insurers and state legislators, Vaughan adds.
Indeed, during the winter NAIC meeting this month, she exhorted insurers to help regulators as they go to state legislatures.
Mike Pickens, NAIC vice president and Arkansas insurance commissioner, cites the unprecedented progress in producer licensing.
While the World Trade Center event, “took our eye off the ball a little bit,” Pickens notes that 37 states are on board with uniform producer licensing standards. He says the full complement of 51 jurisdictions is the NAIC’s goal.
Efforts to ensure uniformity will be part of regulators’ efforts in the coming year. Pickens says that although 43 states have new privacy standards in place, more needs to be done to work with states that still need to create more uniform standards and to point out the difficulties that lack of uniformity can cause.