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Consumer Groups Urge NAIC to Close "Revolving Door"

Fourteen consumer groups have filed a complaint with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), saying that NAIC Immediate Past President Walter Bell's taking a...
August 26, 2008

Fourteen consumer groups have filed a complaint with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), saying that NAIC Immediate Past President Walter Bell's taking a job as chairman of SwissRe America raises questions of influence and undermines public confidence. In the letter, the groups express dismay at the "revolving door" between the NAIC and industry. They call for "to institute a strong conflict of interest policy which includes a prohibition against lobbying the NAIC or other insurance regulatory bodies - including foreign insurance regulators and the IAIS [International Association of Insurance Supervisors] - for a period of two years following departure from public service.

"We also ask that the NAIC specifically adopt a resolution asking Mr. Bell not to lobby the NAIC, the Internationaol Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) or foreign regulators for a period of two years from his departure."

The letter cited previous NAIC presidents who have gone to industry positions including Alessandro Iuppa, who left to take a job with Zurich, and Ernie Csiszar, who resigned midway through his term as NAIC president to take a job with the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).

"The movement of regulators to industry feeds the perception that NAIC leadership positions are a stepping stone to future industry employment. Instituting a strong conflict of interest policy with revolving-door safeguards would help erase that image and strengthen state regulation of the insurance industry," the letter said.

Consumers Urge NAIC Conflict Policy (National Underwriter 8/21/08)