NU Online News Service, Nov. 5, 2003, 6:07 p.m. EST – Representatives for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., and the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, Albany, N.Y., battled insurance company executives today at a hearing of the capital markets subcommittee of the U.S. House Finance Committee.
NAIC President Mike Pickens and Neil Breslin, a witness from NCOIL, defended state insurance regulators and state efforts to improve insurance regulation.
“The system of state insurance regulation in the United States has worked well for 125 years,” Pickens testified, according to a written version of his remarks. “State regulators understand that protecting America’s insurance consumers is our first responsibility.”
Congress should give state lawmakers and regulators more time to modernize insurance regulation and increase uniformity, Pickens said.
“This state-based regulatory reform approach far exceeds having a highly politicized ?insurance czar’ in Washington, D.C., along with the huge, costly, isolated federal bureaucracy that will accompany it,” Pickens said.
“NCOIL strongly believes the creation of a new federal bureaucracy would be unwise and most likely harmful to insurance buyers,” Breslin said. “State legislators know that more work needs to be done, and we will get it done.”