Members of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee voted unanimously by a voice vote Wednesday to approve legislation regulating the sale of insurance products on military bases.[@@]
The bill, H.R. 458, has support from life insurers and life agents, and an earlier version of the bill passed the full House in 2004 by a 396-2 vote.
The Senate took no action on the issue in 2004, and observers believe prompt Senate action on the issue is also unlikely this year.
Georgia insurance regulators have been leading multistate efforts to investigate allegations of wrongdoing and persuade several insurers to agree to settlements.
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., ranking member of the committee, said in a joint statement late in 2004 that they would hold a hearing on the issue. So far, no hearing has been scheduled.
The bill the House Financial Services Committee reported out Wednesday would ban the sale of contractual mutual funds and make it clear that state insurance commissioners do have jurisdiction over military bases located within their borders, as well as over military installations overseas.
The legislation would require that military personnel be informed about life insurance available from the federal government prior to the sale of any private insurance.
States are directed to develop standards to further protect members of the armed services.
The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, put out a statement praising the committee’s vote for H.R. 458.