NU Online News Service, Feb. 14, 4:52 p.m. — Washington
The ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee has introduced an optional federal chartering bill, H.R. 3766, that would require insurance companies to consider community investments and would repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act for all insurers.
In addition, it would adopt national standards on market conduct and require all insurers to collect demographic data on their policyholders.
Called the Insurance Industry Modernization and Consumer Protection Act, the legislation would not directly regulate insurance agents or brokers. Thus, state licensed insurance agents could sell insurance for national companies.
This contrasts with other optional federal chartering proposals on the table, which would require insurance agents to obtain a national license in order to represent national insurers.
However, the bill, introduced by Rep. John LaFalce, D-Buffalo, N.Y., would allow the regulator for national companies, called the Office of National Insurers, to enforce unfair and deceptive trade practice rules against agents and brokers with respect to insurance products issued by national companies.