NAIFA Backs Congress Acting On Insurance Regulation
The nations leading life insurance agents association says it now supports Congressional action to improve and augment the regulation of insurance.
In a new position adopted at its recent annual meeting, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Falls Church, Va., says that it continues to support the “principles” underlying state regulation of insurance.
However, says David Winston, NAIFAs vice president of government affairs, NAIFAs new position will allow the association to be fairly represented during the debate over optional federal chartering (OFC) and national treatment.
Winston says that the new position is an imperative given the sea of change in the industry.
Indeed, several major industry associations now support or are considering some type of federal action on insurance regulation.
The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, as well as a major property-casualty group, the American Insurance Association, Washington, support OFC.
On the agency side, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America and the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, two Alexandria, Va.-based p-c groups, support national treatment.
The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, Washington, which represents large p-c brokers, supports OFC.
Winston says NAIFAs new position assures that the group will have a seat at the table in the upcoming debate to represent the interests of its members.
Under its new position, NAIFA says that any federal action aimed at improving the system must reflect certain guidelines.
First, with respect to agent licensing and continuing education requirements, NAIFA says that all insurance agents should be licensed and that duplicative licensing requirements should be eliminated.
Each insurance agent, NAIFA says, should be required to demonstrate to only one regulator that he or she is qualified to be licensed and represent either a state-chartered or federally-chartered insurer.
NAIFA says that uniform substantive and procedural licensing requirements should be established for each class of similarly situated agents, and that each insurance agent should need to satisfy only a single set of continuing education requirements for each line of business.
The uniform licensing requirement, NAIFA says, should include a mandatory criminal background check. NAIFA adds that a database, which would be available only to financial services regulators, should be established to identify those who have committed fraud.
Turning to consumer protection, NAIFA says that the tax incentives supporting life insurance and other insurance products must be preserved. Uniform trade practices and consumer protection requirements should apply to all insurance sales and service activities, NAIFA says.