NAIC Slows Approval Of NCOIL Market Conduct Model

By

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., may slow efforts to approve a major market conduct proposal.

NAIC leaders had recommended that the group expedite consideration and adoption of the Market Conduct Surveillance model law. The National Conference of State Legislators, Albany, N.Y., approved the model Feb. 27.

But regulators who participated last week in an NAIC discussion decided to send the model to the NAICs executive committee and plenary with a note that technical and substantive changes will be considered.

If a consensus on changes cannot be reached by June, regulators will vote on NCOILs text, regulators said.

Joel Ario, NAIC secretary-treasurer and Oregon insurance administrator, warned that the process would get bogged down if it was opened up again.

NAIC President Ernst Csiszar said there is an immediacy to the issue because Congress is looking at how state insurance regulators handle market conduct. The issue is part of the discussion over federal regulatory options, something that will be broached during a March 31 hearing of the House Financial Services Committee.

The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, and the American Insurance Association, Washington, both support advancing the model in its current form. Birny Birnbaum, an NAIC-funded consumer representative and executive director of the Center for Economic Justice, Austin, Texas, also supports advancing the current version of the model.

But representatives for 12 states that participated in the NAIC discussion recommended waiting until the summer meeting in June to act. Only 5 states supported advancing the model for possible adoption at the spring meeting, which starts March 13 in New York.

Despite concerns, state regulators did express general support for seeing a model ultimately advance in the states, one that could be widely supported and uniformly adopted.

Industry groups that recommended giving the approval process more time included Americas Health Insurance Plans, Washington; the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Indianapolis; and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Des Plaines, Ill.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, March 12, 2004. Copyright 2004 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.