State insurance regulators and a major property-casualty trade group are exchanging words over the benefits of an optional federal charter proposal.
The exchange began when the American Insurance Association, Washington, criticizing a statement opposing the OPC proposal by Sandy Praeger, Kansas insurance commissioner and president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo.
Praeger presented her view in an opinion piece, “Federal Bill Unnecessary,” published on the Kansas Insurance Department Web site Feb. 7.
In a Feb. 13 letter to Praeger, the AIA argued that insurers need a “modern and efficient regulatory structure” and that this can only be achieved by giving insurance companies a federal charter option rather than continuing the current system of regulations only by individual states.
The letter, written by AIA president Gov. Marc Racicot, said the group has worked with NAIC and individual insurance commissioners to reform insurance regulation but that progress has been “uneven and has come about slowly.”
Racicot argued in the letter that states would continue to receive premium tax revenue with an OFC and pointed out the charter was optional. He noted, moreover, that even with an OFC, consumers could still decide whether to buy insurance from a state or federally regulated insurer, much the way that they do with banks.