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Big "I" Praises House For Step Forward on Regulatory Reform

House passes surplus lines bill, H.R. 1065



WASHINGTON, D.C., June 25, 2007—The House of Representatives took a step forward today in reforming state insurance regulation by passing H.R. 1065, the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2007.

 The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) supports the bill, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.) and Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.), and today thanked the House for moving forward.

 “We appreciate the expedited passage of this legislation by the House and believe that the quick passage of this pragmatic approach to insurance regulatory reform is exactly what we need to get the ball rolling on real reforms ,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” CEO. . “We believe it not only eliminates duplication in surplus lines regulation, but that it can also serve as a shining example of how responsible insurance reform can occur—by using targeted federal legislation to address areas of concern while retaining the strengths of the current  regulatory system.”

 The legislation singles out two areas—surplus lines regulation and reinsurance supervision—where there is general consensus for reform. Independent insurance agents and brokers play a crucial role in surplus lines (or nonadmitted) insurance, which provides coverage for unique or hard-to-place property-casualty risks.

 The bill streamlines surplus lines regulation by making the insured’s home state the source of regulation for individual surplus lines transactions.  “The legislation also would reduce overlapping, multiple-state regulation of both reinsurer financial condition and credit-for-reinsurance on the balance sheets of ceding insurers. This bill is a perfect example of how targeted reforms can be used to make the industry and regulatory system more efficient, which ultimately benefits the consumer.  This same approach can be used to address agent and company licensing reform, speed to market issues, and more,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs and federal relations. .

“This is a great bill for consumers, the industry, and for agents and brokers,” says Tom Koonce, Big “I” assistant vice president for federal government affairs. “We thank Representatives Moore and Brown-Waite for their bipartisan, middle-ground approach and pledge our ongoing support. We also thank the House Leadership for moving the bill quickly through the House of Representatives, and we look forward to working with Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Ma.), Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-Al.) and Capital Markets Subcommittee Chairman Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) and other members of the House on additional reforms to the insurance regulatory system, most importantly in the area of agent licensing.”

Founded in 1896, IIABA (the Big “I”) is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.

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