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PIA, NCOIL Presidents Address Each Other's D.C. Meetings

The presidents of PIA National and the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) will address each other's spring meetings in Washington, D.C. PIA National...
February 26, 2008

Groups Share a Common Commitment to State Insurance Regulation

David M. EppsteinBy David M. Eppstein
Director, State Affairs
PIA National

The presidents of PIA National and the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) will address each other's spring meetings in Washington, D.C.

PIA National President Robert Page will participate in an NCOIL panel on March 1, and NCOIL President Brian Kennedy will address the PIA National Board of Directors on March 2. Both organizations are meeting during the same time period.

"This year, our respective organizations are meeting here in our nation's capital at the same time," said Page. "This is especially appropriate, since both NCOIL and PIA share a common commitment to our state-based insurance regulatory system."

"PIA is honored to have NCOIL President Brian Kennedy as a speaker during our March 2 National Board of Directors meeting," Page said. "In addition, I am pleased to participate in an NCOIL general session panel on homeowners insurance the day before."

Page will bring his perspectives on insuring for natural catastrophes to an NCOIL panel entitled Protecting The Home: Government Solutions Versus Personal Responsibility.

A Shared Commitment

NCOIL and PIA have a shared belief: that our state system of insurance supervision provides the structural platform upon which the most successful insurance sector in the world has been built. It is this system that for over a century has provided our industry with the stability, soundness and reliability that has enabled it to protect our citizens, their property and their businesses. The insurance industry protects our American way of life by making the success of our economy possible.

In 2007, the Professional Insurance Agents Insurance Foundation (PIA Foundation) made a $50,000 donation to the National Conference of Insurance Legislators' Insurance Legislators' Foundation in support of NCOIL's efforts to conduct quality research and education of their state legislators, who are responsible for insurance issues in their states.

Released later that year, NCOIL's Study on State Authority: Making a Case for Proper Insurance Oversight took an in-depth, objective look at state insurance regulation in its current form. It also reviewed the legal and statutory authority behind primary oversight of insurance, those responsibilities granted and those presently undertaken, funding of regulatory entities, and interaction between the entities within and between states.

"NCOIL would like to express its appreciation to the PIA Insurance Foundation for its sizable contribution to fund this important study," said Senator Alan Sanborn (MI), then the president of the NCOIL Insurance Legislators Foundation. "As staunch supporters of state regulation of insurance, both NCOIL and PIA believe this study will yield a comprehensive blueprint of state insurance regulation that will serve as an important, authoritative guide for regulators and legislators," Sanborn said.

This year, PIA will work closely with our allies such as NCOIL to advance a nationwide system of uniform state based regulation for insurance. We commend NCOIL for their leadership in opposing federal interference while also working to improve the state system.  In addition to this critical issue, we look forward to working with NCOIL on a comprehensive national natural catastrophe plan, increasing affordability and availability of terrorism insurance, producer licensing reform and several other important issues facing our industry.

PIA has worked with NCOIL on helping the country prepare for natural disasters. PIA participated on an NCOIL panel discussion regarding building codes and the need for stronger codes and enforcement.  We are pleased that NCOIL used the information gained from the panel and passed a model building code. In addition to building codes, PIA looks forward to our continued work together to address land use and how responsible building restrictions may greatly reduce insured losses in the event of a disaster.

PIA and NCOIL also worked together to help get a renewal of TRIA passed through Congress.  We must now work together to do everything we can to maximize private market participation in offering terrorism coverage.  Innovative new capital options, such as bonds and investment pools, can go a long way toward alleviating the burden on the federal government.

PIA was pleased to participate on an NCOIL panel to address producer licensing uniformity last summer.  We appreciate the renewed interest in a more uniform system for obtaining and maintaining producer licenses.

In addition, NCOIL spoke out against a bill last year that would have repealed the insurance industry's limited antitrust exemption under the McCarran-Ferguson Act.

On several fronts, PIA and NCOIL are working together to preserve state regulation of insurance, improve market efficiency and protect consumers. We look forward to a very productive 2008.

David M. Eppstein is Director of State Affairs for PIA National.

PIA Connection

This article originally appeared in the Feburary 2008 issue of PIA Connection.