The Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance (FACI) is expected to come up with some focused recommendations on major insurance themes to the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) when it meets again in March. The recomendations will focus on issues ranging from accessibility and affordability to international supervisory, all under the consideration of an aging global developed-world population.
FIO Director Michael McRaith listened to the reports of three subcommittees and while he said that he appreciated their reports, he also made it clear that he would like to see some formulated recommendations developed now that the FACI has had some time to find its sea legs.
To that end, McRaith will up his role on the calls “to give targeted guidance,” especially in light of significant issues coming up in the interim period.
McRaith also offered the back bench at Treasury’s FIO (if not the Office of Financial Research ) as a resource of data after hearing complaints about a paucity of resources for analysis based on anything more meaningful than high-level anecdotal evidence.
“We are building up our resources internally,” McRaith noted. The FIO will be, the director said, “very receptive to requests.”
Between now and March, it will convene as often as possible to come to some recommendations, McRaith told the FACI members gathered in person at the Treasury or by phone.
Marsh & McLennan companies CEO Brian Duppereault, who agreed to continue to chair the FACI meetings despite planning on retiring from Marsh McLennan early next year, asked for subcommittee reports in advance of the meeting.
The FACI had its first meeting on March 30, 2012, and will have its next public meeting in Washington on March 11, 2013, and while the disparate group of state regulators, industry mavens and consumer advocates has become more congenial with each other, they say the group is still fumbling with both consensus recommendations and a clear path forward.
One regulator member of FACI suggested afterward that she had not been able to make any subcommittee calls on availability and affordability due to the need for advance notice for scheduling and another said what was presented was not what was discussed on the calls. Another acknowledged a lack of consensus among subcommittee members on group supervision concerns.
At the last public FACI on meeting August 6, McRaith created three subcommittees: affordability and accessibility issues, headed by D.C.’s top financial services regulator; international regulatory balance headed by an industry veteran; and a group specifically charged with possible changes to U.S. state insurance laws created by the implementation of an international body’s work known as the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS)’s ComFrame, headed by New York’s top financial services regulator.
The regulatory balance subcommittee head, Chubb Corporation Chief Operating Officer John Degnan, made the room titter a bit when he suggested the long overdue FIO report on modernization might be stymieing the focus of efforts but received no comfort from McRaith. Degnan’s presentation centered on his frustration with East Coast state regulators publicly proclaiming easements in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, without letting the public know that perhaps insurers were already going to offer such relaxations in the first place.