Montana state insurance regulators will start gathering nationwide information on insurance companies regarding market conduct, although the decision to make this information public hasn’t been made yet, according to the Billings Gazette in Montana.

The data in question includes how often a company cancels policies, delays claim payments or gets sued.

The paper quotes Bruce Ferguson, senior vice president for state relations at the American Council of Life Insurers in Washington, D.C., who said such data is confidential in most states and may contain trade secrets.

“We think the goal of this database is a laudable one, but you can’t turn a blind eye to the fact that almost every state requires that data to be kept confidential,” Ferguson told the Gazette.

In New York, Richard H. Neiman, superintendent of the State of New York Banking Department, called upon the U.S. Treasury to improve loan guarantees and credit enhancements, and to focus on preventing unnecessary foreclosures. He called the Troubled Asset Relief Program a “step in the right direction” to develop a global response to the economic crisis.

“Unfreezing credit markets is vital, but lasting stability needs a solution that also addresses the origins of the problem: the escalating numbers of American families who are losing their most valuable asset – their homes,” he told members of the New York Bankers Association.