Diane Koken talked here about her new role as the president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.[@@]

Commissioners voted at the Kansas City, Mo., group’s fall meeting to have her replace former NAIC President Ernst Csiszar for a 3-month interim term.

Csiszar, the former South Carolina insurance director, gave up his NAIC title when he resigned from his post in South Carolina to head up the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Des Plaines, Ill.

Koken says she is ready to commit to serve for a full term in 2005 as well as an interim term this year because she believes the NAIC needs continuity of leadership to keep up its efforts to streamline and preserve state insurance regulation.

But the recent changes in NAIC leadership should not affect the perception of state insurance regulation when the NAIC works with Congress in the coming year because there are commissioners at the NAIC who understand the issues that have been under discussion, Koken says.

Key NAIC efforts will include working with the International Association of Insurance Supervisors on accounting standards, working with Congress on the insurance regulatory reform road map bill, and getting the NAIC’s newly adopted Market Conduct Surveillance Model Act approved by the states, Koken says.

In a speech to her fellow commissioners, Koken described the aftermath of a tornado that hit Pennsylvania as making the best case for state insurance regulation. Many officials from many agencies showed up right after the tornado hit, but, a month later, it was the insurance department that was still answering consumers’ questions, Koken said.