WASHINGTON, D.C., March 3, 2010 – The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) today praised the U.S. House of Representatives for their passage of the bipartisan insurance agent licensing reform legislation, H.R. 2554, the “National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2009.”
The bill was introduced in the 111th Congress last May by Reps. David Scott (D-Ga.) and Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) with more than 30 original co-sponsors.
“Although the state insurance regulatory system has worked effectively to ensure insurer solvency and look after policyholders, the system does need improvement in the area of agent licensing,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “H.R. 2554 would reform and improve the current system of insurance regulation by providing one-stop, non-resident licensing reciprocity.”
H.R. 2554, commonly referred to as NARAB II, would provide for streamlined non-resident insurance agent and broker licensing while preserving state insurance regulation and consumer protections. This bill would achieve much needed reciprocity in producer licensing and help policyholders by permitting greater competition among NARAB members.
“NARAB II would build upon regulatory experience at the state level, promote consistency, and preserve marketplace responsiveness by establishing true nonresident licensing reciprocity for the thousands of independent insurance agents and brokers who operate on a multi-state basis,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of government affairs. “This legislation improves licensing while ensuring that states retain the authority to regulate marketplace activity and enforce important consumer protection laws. We commend Reps. Scott and Neugebauer for their diligent efforts to move this legislation through the House and look forward to working with the Senate in the coming months.”
The Big “I” advocates reforming 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. H.R. 2554 is such targeted reform as it only relates to marketplace entry and would not impact the day-to-day state regulation of insurance.
Similar legislation, H.R. 5611, passed the full House on suspension during the 110th Congress.
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.