WASHINGTON, D.C., June 6, 2013 – The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today praised the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs for reporting the bipartisan insurance agent licensing reform bill, S. 534, the “National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2013” (NARAB II), to the full Senate for consideration.
The bipartisan bill was introduced by Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) in March with 14 original cosponsors in the Senate. The bill currently boasts the support of 23 bipartisan sponsors.
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 vitally important for tens of thousands of Big ‘I’ members who operate on a multi-state basis,” says Robert A. Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “We would like to particularly thank Sens. Tester and Johanns and their incredible staff for their tireless work on this important legislation that will ease consumer access to insurance markets while also leaving important consumer protections in the capable hands of state insurance regulators.”
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 House companion bill, H.R. 1155 by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) and Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.), was also introduced in March and currently has the support of 79 cosponsors.
“The Big ‘I’ is very encouraged by today’s bipartisan action on NARAB II and would also like to thank Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) for their support on this issue,” says Charles E. Symington, Big “I” senior vice president for external and government affairs. “We look forward to working with Senate leadership to move the legislation to the Senate floor as soon as possible. We also look forward to working with the House of Representatives to act on this common-sense, pragmatic bill that will benefit our small business members and the customers they serve.”
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