A conference call about a National Association of Insurance Commissioners proposal to collect market conduct data through the annual statement process drew more than 100 participants.

The executive committee of the NAIC, Kansas City, Mo., held the call Wednesday.

NAIC President Sandy Praeger, Kansas insurance commissioner, started the teleconference by noting that regulators would not take action on the issue during the call and might not take action at the NAIC’s summer meeting in San Francisco, which is set to start May 30.

Because of vendors’ technical constraints, the NAIC will have to wait till 2010 to implement any proposal if it does not get the proposal approved by NAIC members by July 1, Praeger said.

The NAIC’s market regulation and consumer affairs committee approved the proposal April 17.

John Morrison, Montana insurance commissioner and chairman of the market regulation committee, said the proposal calls for:

- Collection of data through a supplemental filing.

- Creation of a central data storage facility.

- A May 1 filing deadline for market conduct information, as opposed to the March filing deadline for financial information.

- A recommendation that the NAIC not proactively sell market conduct data unless NAIC members tell the organization to do so.

The data elements in the proposal already are public, and any additional data elements would require a review before they could be added, Morrison said.

The proposal would streamline a system of market data analysis that started on a trial basis in 2002 and became permanent in 2004, Morrison said.

In 2007, 24 states collected market conduct data. This year, 29 will collect market conduct data, Morrison said.

Rather than giving data to individual states, a company could provide the data through one market conduct filing, Morrison said.

State Rep. Robert Damron, D-Nicholasville, Ky., the president elect of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, Troy, N.Y., said states need more time to think about the market conduct data proposal.

Representatives from many insurers and insurance trade groups also spoke during the call.

Many industry representatives expressed concerns about how competitors and class action lawyers would use the data.

Birny Birnbaum, Brendan Bridgeland and Gregory Squires, individuals chosen by the NAIC to represent the interests of consumers in NAIC proceedings, urged the NAIC to adopt the market conduct data collection proposal.

The only way that there can be true regulatory modernization is to analyze industry data and see if improvements can be made, Birnbaum said.

The argument that the data could be misused is “incredibly disheartening,” Birnbaum said.

“I don’t need insurers to tell me and other consumers what information I need to know,” Birnbaum said.