Lawmakers have kicked off a new round of efforts to give insurers, agents and brokers the ability to choose between state and federal regulation and supervision.
Sens. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and John Sununu, R-N.H., today introduced a bill in the Senate that would create the National Insurance Act of 2007.
The “optional federal charter” bill, which does not yet have a bill number, is a new version of a bill that Johnson and Sununu introduced during the 109th session of Congress.
The bill would:
- Create an independent Office of National Insurance within the Treasury Department that would resemble the federal agencies that now regulate national banks and thrifts. The commissioner of the ONI would be appointed by the president for a 5-year term subject to Senate confirmation.
- Let states keep responsibility for regulating state-licensed insurers and producers.
- Authorize the chartering of separate life and property-casualty insurers.
- Establish a holding company structure that could provide an umbrella for separate life and p-c insurance subsidiaries.
- Authorize the chartering and licensing of national insurance agencies and the licensing of federal insurance producers. A national agency could sell insurance for any federally chartered or state-licensed insurer, and a federally licensed insurance producer could sell insurance in any state on behalf of any national insurer or state insurer.
- Allow a state-licensed insurance producer to sell insurance on behalf of any insurer, including national insurers, operating within the state in which the producer holds a license.
- Direct the insurance commissioner to establish regulations barring unfair trade and claims practices.