Beaver State insurance regulators have given a boost to the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association.

Market regulation analysts at the Oregon Insurance Division may consider “documentation used for compliance with IMSA in determining the frequency and scope of reviews, including desk audits, examinations, and other areas of review,” Oregon Insurance Administrator Joel Ario writes in Oregon Bulletin INS 2006-6.

IMSA, Bethesda, Md., encourages member companies to adopt “best practices” standards when designing and administering programs for selling life insurance, annuities and long term care insurance.

Companies must undergo a review process to join IMSA, and they must go through new reviews every 3 years to stay in IMSA.

The Oregon Insurance Division “strongly supports the kind of self-analysis process required by ‘best practice” organizations,’” Ario writes.

In the future, Oregon market regulation analysts will ask life insurers whether they belong to IMSA and ask to see the documents the companies have gathered to demonstrate compliance with IMSA standards, Ario writes.

“Analysts may consider the IMSA documentation in determining the scope of their own review of the marketing and sales practices of a company, including such areas as agent training and licensing, replacements, and advertising,” Ario writes.

A copy of the Oregon IMSA bulletin is on the Web at Document Link