NU Online News Service, March 30, 2004, 4:31 p.m. EST – The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., has released a new draft of the market conduct model law.[@@]

The changes reflect suggestions made by regulators in an ongoing dialogue over what a market conduct model should include.

The draft is an adaptation of the Market Conduct Surveillance Model Law. The model law was adopted Feb. 27 by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, Albany, N.Y.

The new NAIC version appears just as the U.S. House Financial Services Committee prepares to hold a hearing Wednesday to discuss insurance regulation.

At least one change in the NAIC version asserts a commissioner’s authority to make decisions about market conduct matters.

The change relates to language dealing with targeted on-site market conduct exams. The new language states that when a commissioner determines that available market conduct actions are not appropriate, the commissioner can examine on-site market conduct examinations in accordance with NAIC uniform market conduct examination procedures and the Market Conduct Examiners Handbook.

The new draft also addresses concerns raised about the treatment of confidentiality requirements. Initially, the language stated that all information gathered in relation to a market conduct action or market analysis would be confidential and privileged and not be subject to a subpoena and “shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action.”

The change clarifies that the provision would apply to documents except “as otherwise provided by law or otherwise publicly available.”

The changes were the result of recent comments from regulators, insurers and consumer advocates.