An effort by insurance regulators and legislators to streamline life insurance product filing is at an important point in its development.
At press time, state insurance regulators at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners are scheduled to examine and quite possibly affirm changes made by state legislators to an interstate compact draft. This draft would create a national oversight body that would examine and approve filings for products including life insurance and annuities.
If those changes are acceptable, the National Conference of State Legislatures could take up the issue this week at its national meeting.
Even as that work is being done, regulators are working on creating market conduct efficiencies that they hope will provide better consumer protections as well as a more sensible overview for companies.
Both projects are part of a broader effort to update state regulation of insurance in a financial services environment in which competition among insurers and other financial services providers has become heated.
That competition is likely to continue and, in all likelihood, intensify as the different industry segments become more comfortable with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999.
While the details of any changes are always critical, the wider view is equally as important.
Regulators, insurers and consumer advocates continue to argue points and approaches on these varied projects as they find their way to a better system of state regulation. Often they disagree, sometimes pointedly.