(WASHINGTON - September 17, 2008) — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) congratulates the House of Representatives on passing H.R. 5611 (the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2008 or NARAB Reform Act), which will reform nonresident agent licensing.
“The NARAB Reform Act will make independent agents more efficient by eliminating costly and redundant paperwork for multi-state agent licenses,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “By streamlining the licensing process, agents will have more time to focus on what’s most important---serving consumers.”
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.
“The Big ‘I’ has long supported the use of targeted federal legislation to reform the state system of insurance regulation,” says Brett Nilsson, Big “I” chairman and executive with the Buckner Group in Utah. “The NARAB Reform Act solves licensing inefficiencies through targeted reform and modernization of nonresident agent and broker licensing without affecting resident licensing.”
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 can’t effectively address certain regulatory problems and thinks there is a vital role for Congress to play in helping to modernize state regulation.
“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.
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.