Members of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ national council today agreed to support the concept of letting insurance industry players choose between state regulation and federal regulation.

NAIFA, Falls Church, Va., completed the process of expressing support for optional federal charter bills that meet certain conditions when the council members approved an OFC resolution prepared by NAIFA leaders by a voice vote.

NAIFA held the vote in San Diego, at its annual meeting.

About 80% of the national council members who participated in the vote supported the resolution, according to one attendee.

Later, a number of other attendees say they believe support for the measure was nearly unanimous.

NAIFA’s national council is made up of the presidents and national committee members of local and state associations.

“Today we have seen democracy in action,” says Elaine Fremling, chairman of the NAIFA policy formation subcommittee. “This is the first time in our history that a NAIFA policy position has been sent to the national council for their ratification.”

Under the resolution, NAIFA will support the insurance OFC concept, and it may support an OFC proposal if the proposal meets several conditions.

The list of conditions includes requirements that a OFC proposal supported by NAIFA must offer agents the option of remaining state-licensed, improve consumer protection, preserve state regulation, and establish a single federal entity with expertise in insurance matters.

NAIFA officials say they will continue to work with state commissioners and lawmakers to craft and, when possible, enact meaningful regulatory system reforms.

Incoming NAIFA President Cliff Wilson says he wants to work with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., to support measures and program such as the Producer Licensing Model Act, the National Insurance Producer Registry, the Suitability in Annuity Transactions Model Act and the Interstate Compact.

“We have no plans to abandon our support for these important initiatives,” Wilson says. “The vote today allows NAIFA to pursue a dual state and federal track approach to achieving regulatory reform. As insurance regulatory reform discussions are taking place at the state level, the halls of Congress, and the administration, NAIFA must be there to provide the critical insight of our members.”