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NAIC To Explore Ways To Work With Feds

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The National Association of Insurance Commissioners will work next year to develop a means to standardize insurance regulation that it can bring before Congress, said Sandy Praeger, the new NAIC president and Kansas Insurance Commissioner. Praeger emphasized that the effort will enhance state regulation and not abrogate state authority. NAIC has done this in the past, working with federal authorities on issues such as Medicare supplemental insurance and the F.B.I. on producer licensing records. A number of approaches will be reviewed and considered during the commissioners’ annual weekend gathering in February, she said.

Texas Insurance Commissioner Michael Geeslin spoke about one proposal during the government relations leadership council session on Dec. 4. He discussed developing a model called “The Federal Standardization Act of 2008″ in the coming year as a way to standardize insurance regulation. Currently, he said, insurance is being looked at by different federal authorities and more standardization is needed.

A single convention or organization could be developed to bring items to be standardized that could range from policy to products to licensing, he said, adding that organization could be the NAIC or another body. It could conceivably incorporate the Compact Commission, which is currently approving product filings for life insurance products, he added. The Compact Commission was an effort advanced by the NAIC and became fully operational a year ago. Geeslin said details still would need to be worked out but that development could begin by the back end of 2008.

What it would offer, Geeslin continued, is putting efforts on a “clock” or timetable and “giving ownership to the task of standardization.” The proposal would include lines of business where there would be a fair certainty of success in standardization, he said.


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