A high level, Washington roundtable attended by the majority whip of the Senate, the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, a Congressman, 28 state insurance regulators, other regulatory agencies and industry trade groups discussed the growing possibility of federal insurance regulation.
During the gathering, the head of a property-casualty insurance trade group told state regulators at a meeting here on May 21 that it is increasingly likely that Congress will impose some level of federal insurance regulation soon unless the states act promptly to impose meaningful reform,
The comments by David Sampson, president and CEO of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Des Plaines, Ill., took place during the meeting which was also attended by 14 representatives of other state regulatory agencies in addition to other stakeholders.
Mr. Sampson was among 5 heads of insurance trade groups invited to speak at a “roundtable.” The meeting was chaired by Sandy Praeger, Kansas insurance commissioner and president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo.
An NAIC official confirmed that the meeting was held, but declined further comment.
Those participating included the heads of PCI; the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Indianapolis; the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, Alexandria, Va.; and the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, Washington.
But, no invitation to participate was made to the American Insurance Association and the American Council of Life Insurers, both in Washington, according to officials of those trade groups. They are leading the effort to pass federal legislation creating an optional federal charter for insurers.
Interestingly, also among those who participated were Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., majority whip of the Senate; Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee; and Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., a former state insurance commissioner.
The National Underwriter was unable to contact these officials by press time. Their presence was confirmed by representatives of the trade groups that did participate.
PCI, NAMIC and the IIABA are steadfast supporters of continued state regulation of insurance.
The CIAB was asked to participate because it supports uniform state licensing and is also seeking backing from state regulators of legislation passed by the House last year that would simplify regulation of surplus lines and reinsurance.
That bill could be the subject of a hearing in the Senate Banking Committee as early as next month.