WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2008— The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) applauds House Financial Services Capital Markets Subcommittee Chairman Paul Kanjorski and other Members of the Subcommittee for approving legislation to modernize insurance regulation, especially H.R. 5611, the NARAB Reform Act, which will reform nonresident agent licensing. Along with H.R. 5611, today the Subcommittee approved H.R. 5840, the Insurance Information Act.
“The Big ‘I’ has long supported the use of targeted federal legislation to reform the state system of insurance regulation, and we believe that these bills are good examples of such reform,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” President & CEO. “The most serious regulatory challenges facing our members are the redundant, costly and contradictory requirements that arise when they seek licenses on a multi-state basis. The NARAB Reform Act solves these problems through targeted reform and modernization of nonresident agent and broker licensing without affecting resident licensing.”
The bipartisan NARAB Reform Act, introduced by Reps. David Scott (D-Ga.) and Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) earlier this year, would provide for nonresident insurance agent and broker licensing while preserving the rights of states to supervise and discipline insurance agents and brokers. This legislation modifies the original NARAB provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act to immediately establish NARAB as a private, non-profit entity managed by a board composed of insurance regulators and marketplace representatives. The NARAB board created by this legislation would not be part of, or report to, any federal agency and would not have any federal regulatory power.
“We believe that this type of targeted federal legislation makes the appropriate reforms to the marketplace and improves insurance regulation without having to take the unprecedented path of creating a new federal regulator,” says Charles E. Symington, Jr., Big “I” senior vice president of government affairs.
The Big “I” is an advocate for the state system of insurance regulation and continues to oppose federal regulation, optional or otherwise. However, the Big “I” believes that the state system cannot appropriately and effectively address certain problems on its own and feels that there is a vital role for Congress to play in helping to modernize state regulation and make it more efficient.
“As indicated by the industry and congressional support for these bills and the Subcommittee’s action today, targeted reform is the most viable option for insurance regulatory reform. When enacted, the NARAB bill will result in a more efficient and effective regulatory system, which is good for consumers,” says Symington. “The Big ‘I’ is pleased that the Subcommittee passed these bills, and we look forward to continuing to work with Congress on these and other targeted reform proposals.”
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.