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NCOIL Asks Governors Not To Back Federal Charter

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Leaders of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators are urging the National Governors Association to continue to oppose the idea of giving insurers a choice between state and federal regulation.

Officers at NCOIL, Troy, N.Y., sent a letter attacking optional federal charter legislation just two days after the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, and the American Insurance Association, Washington, sent a joint letter urging the NGA to support the OFC concept.

The ACLI and the AIA made “ill-advised recommendations,” NCOIL leaders write in their letter.

The NCOIL leaders say they challenge “the notion put forth in the ACLI/AIA letter that a dual charter ‘regulatory system reacts quickly to rapid changes in the marketplace and provides efficiencies and convenience to consumers.’”

NCOIL leaders say the NGA should stick with a joint statement the NGA issued in July 2006 along with the National Conference of State Legislatures, Denver.

“States are better positioned than the federal government to balance the interests of U.S. insurance consumers with that of commercial competition,” according to the 2006 NGA statement.”

The OFC bills now under consideration in Congress, S. 40 and H.R. 3200, “would set up a bifurcated regulatory system for insurance, put at risk important state revenue, nullify critical state-initiated consumer safeguards, and delay and deny important consumer access and recourse in problem times,” NCOIL leaders write.

NCOIL leaders cite the new Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact as an example of state efforts to improve insurance regulation.

The IIPRC seeks to “bring innovative products to market much more quickly,” and the IIPRC will allow insurance companies “to make one central filing with the IIPRC and offer approved products in all IIPRC member states,” NCOIL leaders write.


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