NU Online News Service, June 17, 11:54 a.m. – Only 34% of adult U.S. residents know that states regulate life insurance companies, and 25% think life insurance is regulated at the federal level, according to results of a new survey by Matthew Greenwald & Associates, Washington

Twenty-four percent of the participants told Greenwald researchers that life insurance was not regulated at all, and 17% admitted they did not know anything about life insurance regulation.

The survey was sponsored by the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, a trade group that wants Congress to give life insurers a choice between continuing to operate under state regulation or switching to federal regulation.

Many opponents of “optional federal chartering,” such as state insurance regulators, say state-based regulators can do a better job of protecting consumer interests because they are closer to the consumers.

But only 11% of the consumers surveyed said they would turn to a state agency to resolve a complaint against a life insurer, and 57% said they would turn to a lawyer or the legal system, ACLI says.