This video shows how Steve Riggs, the new president of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, addressed a troubling audit report in Kentucky, his home state. (Photo: Kentucky House Democrats/YouTube)

A group for state lawmakers who are interested in insurance issues has named Steve Riggs its new president.

Members of the Manasquan, New Jersey-based National Conference of Insurance Legislators elevated Riggs to president, from vice president, earlier this month at its annual meeting in Las Vegas.

Riggs, a property and casualty insurance broker, serves in the Kentucky House as a Democrat. He is the vice chairman of the state House Banking and Insurance Committee. In 2008, the Insurance Institute of Kentucky gave him a leadership award in recognition of his work on passing a premium tax administration bill.

He has also been active in efforts to increase the number of children who use car seats and to help parents protect children from identity thieves. One Kentucky House Democrats’ video on YouTube shows him responding to possible wrongdoing at a local government board.

NCOIL also elevated Arkansas state Sen. Jason Rapert, a Republican, to vice president, from secretary, and Vermont state Rep. Bill Botzow, a Democrat, to secretary, from treasurer.

The group named Indiana state Rep. Matt Lehman, a Republican, treasurer.

Indiana state Sen. Travis Holdman, a Republican, is the group’s immediate past president.

Because the federal government leaves most insurance regulation to the states, state government officials have a major role in shaping the U.S. insurance industry.

In many states, insurance commissioners manage programs that bring in large amounts of premium tax revenue or other forms of government revenue, and they usually oversee offices staffed with many experienced insurance regulation specialists.

Leaders of NCOIL, which was founded in 1969, have had to work hard to maintain parity with the Kansas City, Missouri-based National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a group for state insurance regulators that was founded in 1871.

Like the NAIC, NCOIL has no direct, independent ability to change state insurance laws or regulations. The group develops models, and state lawmakers often use NCOIL models as the basis for drafting their own bills and amendments.

At the Las Vegas meeting, NCOIL updated its Structured Settlement Model Act.

The group also approved a resolution opposing federal encroachment on state insurance regulators’ turf via the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule effort.

Members who work on health policy talked about ideas for increasing drug price transparency, and about their efforts to shape proposed Obama administration Affordable Care Act regulations. 

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