WASHINGTON, D.C., March 16, 2011 – The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today expressed its strong support for a bipartisan insurance agent licensing reform bill, H.R. 1112 , titled the “National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act” (NARAB II). The bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives today by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) and upwards of 45 original co-sponsors.
NARAB II would provide for streamlined non-resident insurance agent and broker licensing while preserving state insurance regulation and consumer protections. This legislation would achieve much needed reciprocity in producer licensing and help policyholders by permitting greater competition among NARAB members.
“NARAB II provides a mechanism for establishing true nonresident licensing reciprocity for the tens of thousands of Big ‘I’ members who operate on a multi-state basis,” says Robert A. Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “This legislation improves licensing while ensuring that states retain the authority to regulate marketplace activity and enforce important consumer protection laws.”
The legislation would build upon regulatory experience at the state level, promote consistency and preserve marketplace responsiveness. NARAB II has previously passed the full House in both the 110th and 111th Congresses by voice vote.
The Big “I” is an advocate for reforming state insurance regulation and continues to oppose federal regulation, optional or otherwise. However, the association 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. The NARAB Reform Act is targeted reform since it only relates to marketplace entry and would not impact the day-to-day state regulation of insurance.
“The Big ‘I’ commend Reps. Neugebauer and Scott for introducing this important legislation and the more than 45 members of Congress who have signed on as original cosponsors, including House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.),” says Charles E. Symington, Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs. “We are very encouraged by the strong bipartisan support for the bill and look forward to working with both the House and the Senate on consideration of this common-sense, pragmatic legislation in the 112th 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.