NU Online News Service, Feb. 26, 2004, 6:01 p.m. EST – States are moving quickly to create a “single point” for filing life insurance products.[@@]

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Terri Vaughan, a past president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., says lawmakers in 14 states have introduced bills based on the NAIC’s Interstate Compact Model Act. The compact would create a single office that would receive product filings for all participating states.

Iowa already has enacted the model act and amended the act to reflect changes recommended by legislators in July 2003, Vaughan says.

Few of the compact bills introduced in other states have significant deviations from the NAIC model, Vaughan adds. She argues that the number of state legislatures that are considering the model act is significant, given the fact that a number of state legislatures meet in alternate years and are not now in session.

The NAIC has a timeline that calls for states to put product standards in place by the end of the year.

Vaughan says she believes the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, has been active in persuading states to support enactment of the compact. However, she reports that some commissioners say the ACLI could be more active.

The ACLI maintains that it is committed to uniform enactment of the compact model act, not just to promoting a proposal that would give life insurers the option of submitting to regulation by a federal agency.

Vaughan also confirms that some commissioners have approached local and state chapters of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Falls Church, Va., regarding the association’s new stance supporting optional federal regulation. These commissioners believe that some NAIFA members who voted for the optional federal chartering policy may not have intended for the policy to state what it currently says, Vaughan reports.