WASHINGTON, DC, December 11, 2020— The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I") thanks the U.S. Senate for exempting insurance agents and brokers from new, onerous federal reporting requirements that were included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The Big 'I' argued to include a full exemption for agents and brokers in the NDAA conference report by showing that insurance producers already provide beneficial ownership information to state regulators and that the additional burden of providing it to the federal government would be duplicative and unnecessary.
“As the only producer group that advocated to exclude agents and brokers from having to provide small business beneficial ownership information to the federal government, the Big 'I' is grateful that the Senate voted to pass the NDAA conference report with an exemption for insurance agents and brokers from those burdensome requirements," says Charles Symington, Big “I" senior vice president of external, industry and government affairs. “We are especially pleased that this provision had significant bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate."
This provision within the NDAA would require nearly every small business with fewer than 20 employees to file new reports on its beneficial ownership with the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Businesses would have to comply with the new requirement annually starting within two years of the law's enactment for existing businesses or upon the incorporation of a new business. The penalties for failure to comply with these reporting requirements are severe, with civil penalties of up to $10,000 and criminal penalties of up to two years in prison.
“The Big 'I' would especially like to thank Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) for his determined work on this beneficial ownership provision," says Wyatt Stewart, Big “I" assistant vice president of federal government affairs. “Throughout the NDAA negotiations, Chairman Crapo worked diligently and in a bipartisan way to improve this legislation and make sure insurance agents and brokers remain free from these duplicative burdens while still ensuring that bad actors would be prevented from using anonymous shell companies to hide illicit activities."
Founded in 1896, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I") is the nation's oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing more than 25,000 agency locations united under the Trusted Choice brand. Trusted Choice independent agents offer consumers all types of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products—from a variety of insurance companies.