The president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) says she thinks states will continue to run the U.S. insurance regulatory system.
Susan Voss, who is the Iowa insurance commissioner as well as head of the NAIC, Kansas City, Mo., talked about the role of the states in insurance regulation today during a conference call hosted by securities analysts in the New York office of Sterne Agee Group Inc.
The negotiations leading up to passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 sparked debate over whether the federal government should play a bigger role in insurance oversight.
The final version of the act merely created a Federal Insurance Office (FIO) at the U.S. Treasury Department and suggested that the FIO should assess of the insurance regulatory system.
“I don’t see a wholesale shift of regulatory oversight from the state level to the federal at this point,” Voss said.
Federal regulators seem to be interested in learning more about insurance but not in regulating it, Voss said.
One major obstacle federal regulators face is lack of insurance expertise, Voss said.
At the federal level, “everything is very focused on banks,” Voss said. “The idea is, if you regulate this, you can regulate insurance, and you can’t.”