The current draft of the “SMART” federal insurance reform bill is not a “sea change” from existing regulation and is a “fairly well crafted piece of legislation for a first effort.”[@@]
New York Insurance Superintendent Greg Serio gave that assessment Monday here at an insurance conference sponsored by the New York office of KPMG L.L.P.
The SMART bill, officially known as the State Modernization and Regulatory Transparency Act, could be a helpful tool for regulators, Serio said.
Serio welcomed the large number of insurance issues on the congressional calendar as evidence of federal lawmakers’ interest in the industry. “It is a very positive sign,” Serio said.
What is also positive, according to Serio, is the measured approach federal lawmakers are taking to learning about insurance issues and their efforts not to make immediate judgments about insurance issues. The situation is different from the climate that prevailed in the 1990s, when Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., issued a report about the insurance industry’s “failed promises.”
The industry is not going to be victimized and it is not going to get everything that it wants, Serio said.
Life insurers are not going to get an optional federal charter in this Congress, Serio predicted.