WASHINGTON, D.C., March 12, 2013 – 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 titled the “National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2013” (NARAB II).
The bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate today by Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and in the House of Representatives by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) and Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.) with 14 original cosponsors in the Senate and 41 in the House.
NARAB II would build upon regulatory experience at the state level, promote consistency in agent and agency licensing and improve marketplace responsiveness. The legislation would provide for streamlined non-resident insurance agent and broker licensing while preserving state insurance regulation and consumer protections. This pragmatic bill would achieve much needed reciprocity in producer licensing and help policyholders by permitting greater competition among agents and brokers.
“NARAB II is critical for the tens of thousands of Big ‘I’ members who operate on a multi-state basis,” says Robert A. Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “By providing a mechanism for establishing true nonresident licensing reciprocity, this legislation would improve licensing while ensuring that states retain the authority to regulate marketplace activity and enforce important consumer protection laws. As our members come to Washington, D.C. next month for our annual Legislative Conference, they will be meeting with members of Congress to urge them to support NARAB II.”
NARAB II has previously passed the full House in two previous Congresses by voice vote. It also received strong bipartisan and bicameral support in the 112th Congress.
“The Big ‘I’ is very encouraged by today’s bipartisan and bicameral introduction of NARAB II and we would like to thank Sens. Tester and Johanns for taking the lead in the Senate and Reps. Neugebauer and Scott for doing the same in the House,” says Charles E. Symington, Big “I” senior vice president for external and government affairs. “We look forward to working with both chambers in the 113th Congress on consideration of this common-sense, pragmatic bill that will benefit our small business members and the customers they serve.”
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 there is a vital role for Congress to play in helping to modernize state regulation. The NARAB Reform Act is targeted reform relating only to marketplace entry and would not impact the day-to-day state regulation of insurance.
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 approximately a quarter of a million 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.