NU Online News Service, Jan. 17, 4:55 p.m. – Proposals to promote “optional” federal insurance regulation and support state insurance regulation may dominate discussion at the upcoming National Association of Insurance Commissioners annual conference.
The conference is scheduled for Feb. 7-9 in San Antonio.
One hot topic is sure to be the National Insurance Chartering and Supervision Act, a bill recently introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.
The bill would establish a new bureau within the U.S. Treasury Department, the Office of the National Insurance Commissioner.
“ONIC” might resemble the Office of Thrift Supervision, which charters and supervises federal thrifts, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which charters and supervises national banks.
A national insurance commissioner would head the new agency.
Schumer says the bill would give insurance companies and agencies the freedom to choose between state and national charters, just as banks have the freedom to choose between state and national charters.
But Mike Pickens, NAIC vice president and Arkansas insurance commissioner, says he personally opposes the federal chartering legislation.
Pickens charges that the Schumer bill was written by the banking industry, and that obtaining a federal charter would be all but mandatory for agents.