The Insurance Marketplace Standards Association has opened a certification program that will help life insurers keep tabs on outside annuity distributors.

IMSA, Bethesda, Md., says the clearinghouse will gather certifications of supervision of annuity suitability from third-party annuity distributors.

IMSA started the clearinghouse in response to a new annuity suitability model regulation developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., and implemented by about 30 states.

The model regulation requires life insurance companies that delegate suitability supervisory responsibilities to third-party distributors to get annual certifications from those distributors, IMSA says.

The IMSA clearinghouse services are available to all U.S. insurance companies, whether or not they are IMSA-certified, as well as to third-party distributors, IMSA says.