Life insurance industry and agent groups are responding differently to the new insurance regulatory reform “road map.”[@@]
Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., chairman of the Capital Markets Subcommittee of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, released a draft of the proposed bill Aug. 20.
The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Falls Church, Va., has welcomed the draft while implying that it might seek some changes.
“We have some questions we will be asking the committee,” says Randy Kilgore, president of NAIFA. “But, in general, we like what we see.”
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The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, which supports legislation that would create an optional federal charter for insurers as soon as possible, has been more restrained in its comments.
“ACLI is pleased this draft has been released and is currently reviewing it,” the ACLI says in a statement about the road map draft. “An initial scan shows that the [Financial Services] Committee has attempted to address some of the regulatory concerns that we raised. We are looking forward to working with the committee to produce a final product that will receive broad support.”
A major property-casualty insurance group, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, Washington, is supporting the road map draft.
The current version of the proposed bill, officially known as the State Modernization and Regulatory Transparency Act, would leave regulation in the hands of the states, but it would open up a role for federal regulation by establishing an advisory council of federal and state regulators. The council would have no regulatory power over the industry, but it would mediate disputes and report to Congress on compliance with the SMART law.