A consumer advocate is asking why the National Association of Insurance Commissioners did not include consumer representatives in a recent meeting that dealt with the future role of states in insurance regulation.
“We are struck by the absence of any consumer organizations in the list of participants” at the 2-day meeting, Birny Birnbaum, executive director of the Center for Economic Justice, Austin, Texas, writes in a letter to NAIC President Sandy Praeger.
“Given that the NAIC’s mantra is that state insurance regulation is all about protecting consumers, we ask if you could explain why no consumer representatives were invited to the meeting and how the NAIC could reasonably get feedback about the prospects of an [optional federal charter] or the future of insurance regulation without the views of the consumers who would be affected by such legislation,” Birnbaum writes in the letter.
The NAIC meeting started here in Washington May 20.
The NAIC, Kansas City, Mo., invited representatives of 4 industry trade groups based here in Washington, and it also invited 3 Democratic congressional leaders.
The NAIC reportedly did not invite representatives of some groups, such as the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, which have been lobbying for an expanded federal role in insurance regulation.
The NAIC scheduled the Washington meeting as the Treasury Department and lawmakers in the House and Senate are discussing proposals for giving insurers the option to choose between being regulated by existing state agencies or by a new federal insurance regulatory agency.
The NAIC Web site describes the Washington meeting as an “educational” gathering for commissioners.