The U.S. Treasury Department will be hosting a lengthy three-paneled insurance conference Friday morning, where Federal Insurance Office (FIO) director Michael McRaith will hear from industry and consumer interests on insurance regulatory issues stemming from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act and more in advance of comments due on the subject to the FIO by December 16.

The meeting will be broken into three panels: consumer protection; international development and prudential standards for insruance companies.

“Insurance Regulation in the United States: Modernization and Improvement” will bring together state insurance regulators, federal government officials, consumer organizations, representatives of the insurance industry, and insurance experts to “have a meaningful exchange on potential areas for insurance regulatory reform.” Among those attending will be Prudential Vice Chairman Mark Grier, who will be speaking on international developments, on the second panel, MetLife Treasurer Marlene Debel on the third panel on risk management, called “prudential standards for insurance companies,” and Markham McKnight of BancorpSouth Insurance Services will be representing the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers and the Big I, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, according to an industry spokesmen.

The issue of how insurance companies are different in their capital requirements than banks, and how they are different from banks that may be considered SIFIs, or systematically important financail institutions is almsot sure to come  up. See: http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2011/08/22/regulators-promise-details-on-sifi-designation

It was unclear who from the NAIC would attend, as neither the Treasury nor the NAIC provided a name, or who would be on the first panel on consumer protection.   

Although written comments addressing insurance regulation modernization, perceived gaps in the state insurance system and other issues requested by the FIO under Dodd-Frank are due Dec. 16 for a report on modernizing insurance regulation to be issued by McRaith early in 2012, the NAIC has been meeting in person with the office.

[See: http://www.lifehealthpro.com/2011/11/30/fio-plans-insurance-summit-in-advance-of-comments and http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2011/10/17/fio-asks-for-industry-comments-on-fed-regulation-o]

Kevin McCarty, NAIC president-elect and Florida insurance commissioner and other NAIC representatives met with FIO staff on Dec. 1 and NAIC President Susan Voss of Iowa is meeting today, Dec. 7, with the FIO staff as part of two four-hour meetings.

McCarty said in recorded remarks that FIO and NAIC representatives discussed the NAIC’s Solvency Modernization Initiative, changes to the holding company act, changes to derivatives, changes to financial statements, and other NAIC initiatives to modernize insurance regulation. These enhancements “reflect the robust nature of our system and I think it is important for us to continue that dialogue [with FIO],” McCarty stated.

 “Our goal today was to provide our perspective on the ongoing modernization efforts happening every day within our system and ensure that those efforts are memorialized in that report if possible,” McCarty stated in an audio recording on December 1.

Neal Wolin, Deputy Treasury Secretary, will make opening remarks, giving some weight to the conference where trade association heads and top company executives will be in attendance.