If insurance regulatory issues at the end of 2004 are still an open book, next years workload promises to be a tome.
State insurance commissioners attending the winter meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., discussed issues on which they will work both at the NAIC and in their own states.
The broker compensation issue was hands down the most cited point of concern and work that commissioners say they face next year.
At one session during the meeting, NAIC President Diane Koken, who is Pennsylvania insurance commissioner, said making the interstate compact operational also will be a key effort of state insurance regulators.
Indeed, of 7 insurance commissioners interviewed by National Underwriter, 4 said it would be a top item in their states and 1 other expressed support but was not sure how it would be received by the states legislature.
Koken said 9 states have enacted the interstate compact and 33 standards are now in place.
Other items that Koken says will be priorities are more and better solvency tools, better risk assessment and enactment of the market conduct model act adopted earlier this year. The model reflects work done by NAIC and the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, Albany, N.Y.
Market conduct efforts also will include more effective and centralized data collection, and more uniform exam procedures, she said. In 2005, there also will be a focus on continuing to forge relationships with Congress, she added.
Alabamas Insurance Commissioner Walter Bell, who is heading up the Interstate Compact Product Standards working group, said work on the compact that has up to now focused on life and annuity products can be expanded to include personal lines of insurance.
Of the broker compensation issue, he says, “it is not an easy fix,” but commissioners will be focusing on a solution in 2005. “Trust” is the crux of the issue, he says.
In Alabama, Bell says he wants to put a multi-year renewal process in place for producers that would allow licenses to be renewed every 2 years.