Today, the House overwhelmingly passed legislation that would provide a mechanism for establishing true nonresident licensing reciprocity for insurance agents.
The legislation was reported by the Senate Banking Committee in June and is awaiting floor action.
Industry officials privately believe that, despite the current gridlock in Congress, the program, called the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB), has a very good chance of being enacted by this Congress.
NARAB, as envisioned by the legislation, would create a non-profit, independent board that would allow multistate licensing for insurance producers.
Under the bill, insurance agents will be able to apply for NARAB membership and become licensed to sell insurance in multiple states, but states will maintain their full authority in regulating the business of insurance.
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 Ken Crerar, president/CEO of the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers.
The bill is H.R. 1155, the “National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2013,” which passed the House by a 397-6 vote on the suspension, or expedited calendar.
The bill was introduced by House Insurance Subcommittee Chairman Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, and Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., in March with 42 original cosponsors. The bill currently boasts the support of 86 bipartisan sponsors.
The bill did not need action by a House committee because it has already passed the House in two prior Congresses by voice vote, according to Joel Wood, CIAB senior vice president of government affairs.