Iowa Insurance Commissioner Susan Voss, the immediate past president of the NAIC, will kick off a regulatory reform summit Wednesday in Washington, at which Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., will follow with luncheon remarks anticipated to address the status of the NAIC as an organization.
To date, the NAIC has not yet responded to a Feb. 28 letter to the NAIC from Rep. Royce, a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee who asked the NAIC to precisely define what it is and how it is governed. Royce has been a longtime champion of an optional federal charter for insurers. It is expected to soon.
Royce will appear at the Networks Financial Institute’s insurance reform summit entitled, “An Era of Enhanced Federal Scrutiny March 21.
Royce said he was asking for the information “as a means of reconciling the NAIC’s own inherently inconsistent statements about itself.”
After the NAIC conference in New Orleans earlier this month concluded the first week in March, NAIC CEO Dr. Terri Vaughan noted that everyone had been busy with the intensive tri-annual meeting and work had not yet begun to respond. However, a draft has said to have been completed.
The Royce letter was addressed to Kevin McCarty, Florida insurance commissioner and president of the NAIC, and Vaughan. Recent inquiries on the status of a response were not immediately answered.
The letter was prompted by the NAIC’s decision Dec. 19, 2011 to have its membership approve the change in designation in a conference call of all commissioners.
In his letter, Royce told the NAIC officials he “would appreciate your prompt attention to this matter and a substantive written reply.”
Although hitting ‘Send’ on the NAIC’s 2011 annual report, “The Home of Insurance Regulation,” where analogies to parts of a house, including to the wiring and plumbing, are made with respect to insurance regulation might do the trick in some cases, it won’t for Royce. The question is more politically fraught due to the relationship between the NAIC and federal entities at a time of flux in the international and federal insurance supervisory arenas.
The decision to change the NAIC’s description to “standard-setter” had been in the works for awhile, but was made public soon after a hearing on insurance modernization and regulation convened by the Treasury Department’s Federal Insurance Office (FIO) where a panel member testifying referred to the NAIC as a “trade group,” which Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Tom Leonardi countered.