NU Online News Service, March 24, 2004, 6:33 p.m. EST – Members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., seem to be giving up on mobilizing quick support for another group’s market conduct model.[@@]

NAIC leaders wanted to rally support for the model, which was approved Feb. 27 by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, Albany, N.Y., in time for the U.S. House Financial Services Committee’s March 31 hearing on federal insurance regulation.

NAIC leaders had hoped commissioners could approve a slightly modified version of the NCOIL model after making minor technical changes.

But coming up with broad support for the model by next Wednesday is “probably unrealistic,” says Joel Ario, the NAIC secretary-treasurer and Oregon insurance administrator.

The NAIC would be better off taking the time to make sure that everyone is heard and that the NAIC’s version of the NCOIL document receives broad support, Ario said today during a meeting on the NCOIL model.

Ario did set a June deadline for efforts to get the NAIC to officially weigh in on the market conduct model.

Tim Tucker, NCOIL’s director of state-federal affairs, asked regulators to stick to technical rather than substantive changes.

But meeting participants said they had questions about some NCOIL model provisions.

Some of the participants’ comments:

- The commissioners do not want a statute to limit their actions before they undertake market conduct examinations or to tell them what actions they must take. A statute that tells commissioners what they can and cannot do would be inappropriate, according to Mark Presser, a New York regulator.

- A market conduct statute should encourage regulators to defer to market conduct efforts in an insurer’s state of domicile, but states that want their market conduct efforts to be received in other states ought to meet minimum competency standards.

- A market conduct statute should not turn financial statements and other documents that now are public into confidential documents.