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NAIC Official Weighs In On NCOIL Oversight Study

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Regulators here say they wish they had had a chance to contribute to a National Conference of Insurance Legislators analysis on state regulation of insurance.

Researchers commissioned by the Insurance Legislators Foundation prepared the analysis for NCOIL, Troy, N.Y.

The researchers did not get input from the regulatory community, and some of the analysis was “undocumented,” using attributions such as “some say,” according to Walter Bell, the Alabama insurance commissioner and the outgoing president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo.

Bell spoke about the NCOIL analysis during a legislative liaison meeting at the NAIC winter meeting.

When lawmakers start to talk about the ILF analysis in earnest in 2008, they should include insurance commissioners in the conversation so that “we can discuss what the case is today and not the perception of the authors,” Bell said.

Regulators and legislators are “both in this together” in the effort to preserve state authority to oversee insurance regulation, and “innuendos can be very misleading,” Bell said.

A study can be biased by whoever is funding it, Bell added.

State Rep. Brian Kennedy, D-Hopkinton, R.I., said NCOIL meetings are open.

Commissioners will have “ample opportunity in the future to speak out on the issue,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy questioned the criticism about the lack of contact between the authors of the analysis and insurance commissioners.

The analysis was done on behalf of the ILF, not the NAIC, Kennedy said.

NCOIL posted an early version of the analysis on its Web site in the summer, and commissioners could have come to NCOIL with questions, concerns or suggestions about the draft, Kennedy said.

NCOIL will approach the authors of the analysis for documentation if NAIC can provide a list of any portions that they believe to be inadequately documented, according to NCOIL Executive Director Sue Nolan.

The current version already includes many pages of footnotes, Nolan reported.


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