Bill Would Establish National Insurance Regulations
April 20, 2009
The U.S. House of Representatives currently is considering a bill that
would establish a system of regulation and supervision for insurers, insurance
agencies and insurance producers chartered or licensed under federal law.
If passed, the goal of the system would be to ensure the stability and
financial integrity of those insurers, agencies and producers in an effort
to protect insureds.
The bill, tagged the National Insurance Consumer Protection Act, recently
was introduced by Congresswoman Melissa L. Bean (D-Ill.) and Congressman
Ed Royce (R-Calif.).
"The events of 2008 show us that insurance reg[ulation] reform can
no longer be postponed-it is needed now," says Bean. "This bill
will provide consumer protection and choice while eliminating barriers
to industry competitiveness in the global market."
"Never before has the federal government been so invested in an industry
it has no regulatory authority over. Leaving the business of insurance
regulation solely to the various state insurance commissioners, while
the federal government provides taxpayer-funded assistance is simply irresponsible,"
Under the terms of the bill, states would maintain responsibility for
regulating state-licensed insurers, agencies and producers.
The bill also would establish a single nationwide phone number through
which consumers could share problems with their local federal or state
insurance regulator. The Office of National Insurance also would have
a physical office and staff in every state through its Division of Consumer
The bill currently is under the consideration of the House Committee on
Financial Services, the Committees on the Judiciary and the Energy and
This is one of two major Federal insurance regulation reform bills introduced
this year. Another, the Insurance Industry Competition Act of 2009, would
amend the McCarran-Ferguson Act as such that the Federal Trade Commission
Act would be applicable to the business of insurance "to the extent
that such business is not regulated by State law." (CLICK
HERE for related story.)
HERE for full text of the National Insurance Consumer Protection Act.
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