WASHINGTON, D.C., April 17, 2008—The following are statements from Bob Rusbuldt, President & CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big "I"), and Charles Symington, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, on H.R. 5840.
“The Big ‘I’ is very concerned with H.R. 5840, legislation that would create an Office of Insurance Information (OII) within the Treasury Department," said Bob Rusbuldt, Big “I” President & CEO. "The OII would create a dual regulatory system. It is not optional, and it creates another layer of regulation and oversight on top of the current insurance regulatory system.”
Charles Symington, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, added, "The OII would have considerable authority to preempt state laws and establish federal insurance policy, negatively impacting the state insurance regulatory structure. Additionally, Reps. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) and Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the only sponsors of the House optional federal charter legislation and original sponsors of H.R. 5840, indicated at yesterday’s insurance hearing that they believed that an OII would be a step toward OFC. This clearly causes us great concern.”
Founded in 1896, 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, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.