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Preview of Agent Issues at NAIC Fall Meeting in September

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) will hold their Fall National Meeting in Washington, D.C. September 21-24. Commissioners are expected to cover a wide...
August 31, 2009

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) will hold their Fall National Meeting in Washington, D.C. September 21-24. Commissioners are expected to cover a wide range of critical issues affecting producers, including licensing, federal regulation, health insurance and managed care, and natural disaster preparedness.

Commissioners have again invited participation from state legislators interested in attending the NAIC Fall meeting. Two opening sessions for state regulators and legislators are planned on September 21: an orientation about the NAIC for legislators, which will include a briefing on key legislative developments; and an open forum for dialogue, with an update on important regulatory initiatives and emerging federal issues (such as a systemic risk regulator and resolution authority) and legislators sharing their insight on state legislative priorities.

PIA is very encouraged to see the legislators and regulators working together because they are making good progress on their insurance regulation modernization goals. They are also working together to defend state regulation from further federal intervention.

Here is a preview of issues at the NAIC Fall meeting:

The NIPR Board of Directors will convene just prior to the NAIC Fall National Meeting to conduct normal business including receiving a quarterly report on NIPR Financials, Transaction Volumes, User Participation and the State Implementation Plan (SIP).

PIA serves on the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) board and we are encouraged by progress it has been making. Electronic licensing platforms through NIPR will help us achieve our licensing goals. Every jurisdiction is now participating in NIPR for at least one product.  Producers can now apply for an individual license in almost every jurisdiction through NIPR. The NIPR board is now working on expanding the number of products offered. This system makes obtaining and maintaining producer licenses much easier for producers and regulators.

The Government Relations Leadership (EX) Council is expected to meet and discuss updates on pending federal insurance-related legislation and issues. NAIC staff will provide briefings on any potential regulatory modernization efforts, which include new developments of a systemic risk regulator, systemic resolution authority, consumer financial protection, Office of National Insurance, Optional Federal Charter and producer licensing reforms. As events in Washington change rapidly, the GRLC will brief commissioners with the latest information.

We are pleased that the NAIC has decided to post on their website the white paper by Mark Boozell, sponsored by the PIA Insurance Foundation, entitled: "Future of the Business Disciplines, Regulation and Oversight of the U.S. Insurance Marketplace." We believe this paper will help our state legislators and regulators make the case to Congress that insurance regulation is in good hands, and a federal insurance regulator is not needed.

Nat Cat focus. The NAIC Executive/Plenary Committee will consider their white paper, "Natural Catastrophe Risk: Creating a Comprehensive National Plan."  The NAIC has been working with NCOIL on this paper and PIA has been making our policy stances known throughout the process. PIA's Natural Catastrophe Working Group has been meeting regularly to analyze and discuss all the various proposals.

The Crop Insurance (C) Working Group will meet to discuss regulators' concerns with the preemption of crop insurance adjuster licensing. Congress, through the Risk Management Agency (RMA), could preempt certain states licensing authority in this area beginning as early as July 1, 2011. The RMA will provide an update from the Department of Agriculture on activities affecting crop insurance, including the preemption of state adjuster licensing. Finally, the National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) will provide an update on the Crop Adjuster Proficiency Program (CAPP).

PIA members have been active in these discussions by assisting our regulators and legislators as they prepare for the new RMA regulations. PIA National has created a new Crop Insurance Working Group to address these issues.

The Surplus Lines (C) Task Force will discuss the progress made investigating a surplus lines producer licensing exemption and the results of a working group's study on a universal form for allocating multi-state surplus lines premium taxes.

PIA has been working with the NAIC on this issue and will continue to assert our preference for resolving this issue at the state level.

The Workers' Compensation (C) Task Force will meet to receive the State-of-the-Line annual report on workers' compensation from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). Updates will also be provided regarding H.R. 635 - the proposed federal bill to establish the National Commission on State Workers' Compensation Laws, and a draft National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Independent Contractor Model Law.

PIA opposes H.R. 635 and we are working with our legislators and regulators to demonstrate that the states are capable of handling these insurance issues.

PIA members can send comments or questions to: David Eppstein davidep@pianet.org, PIA National Assistant Vice President for Regulatory Affairs.