Legislation providing a mechanism for establishing true nonresident licensing reciprocity was reported out of the Senate Banking Committee.
The legislation is S. 534, the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2013. It was introduced in the Senate in March by Sen. John Tester, D-Mont., and Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb. It has 22 co-sponsors.
The bill would establish the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers, a nonprofit, independent board to provide a mechanism for multistate licensing for insurance producers. States would retain their regulatory jurisdiction over consumer protection, market conduct and unfair trade practices, and would retain their rights over licensing, supervision, disciplining and the setting of licensing fees for insurance producers, according to the industry.
“The product before you today represents over a decade worth of effort and I believe, will finally achieve the goals laid out in GLB in a way that ensures that regulators can continue to protect consumers,” Tester said.
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Praise rained thick from the agents and brokers communities, many of whom have labored over this legislation for years leading up to the vigorous work on smoothing over amendments for the markup Thursday.
“NAIFA is pleased that the NARAB II has passed mark-up, and we look forward to quick action by the Senate on the legislation,” said NAIFA President Rob Smith.
“While insurance is best regulated at the state level, simple market realities mean that many agents have clients in states other than their own,” Smith said.
“This legislation would not only ease multistate licensing burdens on agents, but would help them maintain important relationships with clients and ultimately serve consumers better,” Smith said.
Robert A. Rusbuldt, president & CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, added that, “NARAB II is vitally important for tens of thousands of Big ‘I’ members who operate on a multistate basis.”
“This effort has been waged for decades and is now closer than ever to fruition,” said the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB) president and CEO Ken A. Crerar. “We congratulate and thank the Committee for its vote today – in particular, our sponsors Sen. Jon Tester and Sen. Mike Johanns, Committee Chairman Tim Johnson and Ranking Member Mike Crapo – and we hope the full Senate will soon consider the bill.”
“The legislation would provide for streamlined nonresident insurance agent and broker licensing while preserving state insurance regulation and consumer protections,” Rusbuldt said.
Companion legislation, H.R. 1155, has been introduced in the House by Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, and Rep. David Scott, D-Ga.