The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents and Agents for Change already are sparring over the new optional federal charter push.
Reps. Melissa Bean, D-Ill., and Ed Royce, R-Calif., say they are preparing to introduce the National Insurance Consumer Protection and Regulatory Modernization Act, a bill that would give insurers the option of choosing to take a federal charter and come under the jurisdiction of a new federal insurance regulatory agency.
The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, Alexandria, Va., says the OFC efforts threaten to “dismantle the successful state insurance regulatory system.”
“This bill is just more of the same,” says Kenneth Auerbach, national president of the PIA.
The bill is adding “perfume and lipstick” to a “tired, old proposal that its backers have tried and failed to advance for many years,” Auerbach says. “It is still a bad idea.”
Peter Ludgin, executive director for Agents for Change, Washington, which represents both property-casualty and life insurance agents who support federal regulation, is welcoming the bill, saying it is forcing opponents of federal regulation to “scramble.”
Ludgin says opponents of federal regulation are using “their same old tired talking points, developed years ago,” and “are not adding anything constructive to a real policy debate in light of the current crisis.”
The state regulatory system worked well in the 19th century, but “interest groups who think the insurance regulatory system should not be reformed to reflect the needs of 21st century consumers are missing the mark,” Ludgin says.