WASHINGTON BUREAU — House members today introduced a bill, H.R. 2554, that would create the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers.
The bill has the support of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, Washington, a property-casualty trade group, and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Falls Church, Va., a group that represents life and health producers.
The bill, dubbed “NARAB II,” would provide for streamlined non-resident insurance agent and broker licensing.
The bill would preserve state insurance regulation and consumer protection provisions, and it would require agents applying for NARAB membership to submit to a criminal background check.
Today, only 17 states require a federal criminal background check for producers.
The bill was introduced by Reps. David Scott, D-Ga., and Randy Neugebauer R-Texas. The bill has strong bipartisan support. More than 30 members of the House signed on as original cosponsors, according to representatives of the IIABA and NAIFA.
C. Brett Nilsson, chairman of the IIABA, says the bill “would achieve much needed reciprocity in producer licensing and help policyholders by permitting greater competition among NARAB members.”
NAIFA also is welcoming introduction of the bill.
“In today’s increasingly mobile world, it is a disservice to insurance consumers to have a regulatory system in place that makes it difficult for a consumer to retain their agent when they move to another state,” NAIFA President Cliff Wilson says.
The bill makes NARAB membership optional and does not create a federal regulator for insurance or aim to reduce current agent licensing standards, officials of the IIABA and NAIFA say.
Producers who choose NARAB membership would be governed by NARAB’s continuing education requirements, and no state other than a producer’s home state could impose additional continuing education requirements, the officials say.