NU Online News Service, June 11, 5:35 p.m. – The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, sent its chairman, Joseph Gasper, to Capitol Hill today to testify for a “federal chartering option.”

Option proposals would give insurers a choice of accepting federal regulation or continuing to operate under state regulation.

Critics, including many state insurance regulators and consumer advocates, argue that state insurance departments do a better job of keeping tabs on insurers than a large federal agency could do.

But Gasper told the House Financial Services subcommittee on capital markets, insurance and government-sponsored enterprises that the current system creates unnecessary delays that hurt consumers as well as insurers.

“Failure to reform insurance regulation will pose a severe and ever larger competitive burden that could threaten the viability of the life insurance industry and those it serves in an increasingly competitive global economy,” Gasper testified, according to a written version of his remarks released by ACLI.

“Many life insurers believe regulatory modernization is a survival issue,” Gasper said. “Today’s marketplace is intolerant of inefficient competition.”

Gasper spoke at the second of three hearings on the federal chartering proposals. The first hearing was held June 4, and the next hearing is scheduled for June 18.