NU Online News Service, Sept. 18, 11:15 a.m. — Washington
The life insurance industry cannot wait much longer for regulatory reform, according to a senior executive with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Mass.
“We cannot stress enough the fact that the underlying problems and the need for action are immediate,” William Fisher, MassMutual’s general counsel, says in a formal statement prepared for a recent House Financial Services Committee roundtable discussion on insurance regulatory modernization. “Because of existing regulatory inefficiencies, the life insurance industry is at a competitive disadvantage today.”
Congress must act now to cure the regulatory inefficiencies, by establishing optional federal chartering of insurance companies, Fisher says.
An incremental approach, such as imposing a federal solution only if the states fail to act, is not the answer, Fisher says.
Fisher estimates MassMutual lost at least $80 million in sales in 2001 because of an inability to bring products to market more quickly.
“Unfortunately,” Fisher says, “the overall problem has not gotten any better in the meantime.”