Big “I” Applauds Committee Action on the “Policyholder Protection Act”
Bill reaffirms state regulatory authority over insurers.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov 4, 2015—The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee for today’s passage of H.R. 1478, the “Policyholder Protection Act,” by Reps. Bill Posey (R-Florida) and Brad Sherman (D-California) in a 57-0 vote. This legislation clarifies that state insurance regulators have the authority to protect the capital of insurance companies that are part of larger financial institutions.
"The Big ‘I’ has always supported state regulation of insurance and this common-sense legislation further reinforces the strong consumer protections contained within the state oversight model,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of external and government affairs. “H.R. 1478 ensures that state regulators have the authority to wall off insurer assets designed for policyholders and makes sure that those assets are not used for anything other than protecting insurance consumers.”
The bill clears up several ambiguities contained within the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Most importantly, the legislation prevents federal banking regulators from transferring the assets of a state regulated insurance company or subsidiary to an affiliated bank, if state insurance commissioners believe such a transfer would be harmful to policyholders.
“The Big ‘I’ thanks the House Financial Services Committee for passing the ‘Policyholder Protection Act’ and urges the full House to consider the legislation,” continues Symington. “We look forward to also working with the Senate on this important effort.”
The Big “I” also supports the Senate companion bill, S. 798 by Sens. David Vitter (R-Louisiana) and Jon Tester (D-Montana). 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.