The chief executive officer of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors has died.

In a press statement released late Tuesday, NAIFA announced that CEO Susan Waters, 63, passed away “unexpectedly” at her in Washington, D.C. home. The cause of death was not available at press time.

“Susan’s passing is a great loss for the NAIFA family,” said NAIFA President Juli McNeely. “Susan was a dedicated leader and a strong advocate for our industry. She cared very much about our members and the work they do in securing the financial futures of America’s businesses and families.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Susan’s family at this difficult time,” McNeely added. “We will miss her very much.”

Waters was named CEO of NAIFA in March 2010 and had served as NAIFA’s Acting CEO since December 2009 and Deputy CEO since October 2007. She had more than 23 years of experience in professional association management, as well as experience in the insurance industry.

In 2013, Waters was the recipient of the American Society of Association Executives’ Key Award, which recognizes the association CEO who demonstrates exceptional qualities of leadership and displays a deep commitment to voluntary membership organizations.

Prior to joining NAIFA, Waters was president of Sextant Consulting, a firm specializing in association governance, conflict management, strategic planning, leadership development, and meeting facilitation. In her career, she has served as the CEO of three associations, has been a licensed insurance broker, and has served as executive vice president of an insurance agency.

NAIFA’s press statement added that the association’s board of trustees will provide further details regarding succession plans in the wake of Water’s untimely death.

NARAB II

In separate news, NAIFA applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (TRIA), which includes agent licensing legislation known as NARAB II. The legislation, a House-amended version of a Senate Bill (S. 2244) now awaits a final vote in the Senate.

“Passage of the House Amendment to S. 2244, which would extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act for six years, has cost taxpayers nothing in loss payments and has provided for the availability of private terrorism insurance while keeping our economy protected,” said McNeely.

NARAB II — short for National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers — is a top priority for NAIFA, as the legislation would facilitate reciprocity in producer licensing and help policyholders by permitting greater competition among agents and brokers. The legislation would also benefit consumers by allowing them to maintain their preferred insurance agent or broker should they move to or from our state. 

“With the current federal terrorism insurance backstop set to expire in a matter of days, this legislation is crucial to businesses and our nation’s economic security,” said McNeely. “Importantly, insurance agents and brokers have been waiting for years to bring meaningful reciprocity, like NARAB II, to the agent licensing process. We urge the Senate to vote for the House-amended version of S. 2244.”