President Barack Obama has nominated four individuals to sit on the 13-member governing board of a new national insurance producer licensing system. They are state insurance regulators from South Carolina and Minnesota and insurance producer representatives from Illinois and Pennsylvania.
One year ago when Congress voted to renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) for six years, lawmakers also approved an unrelated provision creating a new system to simplify non-resident licensing for insurance agents and brokers.
The legislation that created the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB II) had been a goal of insurance agent groups for years.
NARAB gives agents and brokers who do business in multiple states the option of joining a national association through which they can satisfy various states’ licensing requirements through one process and portal. Participation in the NARAB is voluntary.
The law calls for creation of a NARAB governing body of 13 members, of which eight must be state insurance regulators and five must be private business members with experience in property/casualty (3) and life/health (2) insurance producer licensing.
In August, some producers expressed frustration because implementation of the licensing reform was stalled in part because the board had not been named.
“It is vitally important that the law be implemented as intended as soon as possible. Industry has worked diligently for eight years, and now that the provisions of the legislation have been signed into law eight months ago, we respectfully request your immediate selection and appointment of the NARAB board members,” AAMGA Executive Director Bernie Heinze wrote in a letter to the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) within the Treasury that is charged with recommending board members to the president and implementing the law. Michael McRaith, former Illinois insurance commissioner, heads the FIO.
This week, a year after enactment, President Obama nominated four of the 13 people needed to fill the NARAB board vacancies. He sent to the Senate the names of two state regulators, one property/casualty producer representative and one life/health producer representative:
- Raymond G. Farmer, who is South Carolina insurance commissioner, to a term of one year. Farmer, a lawyer, was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to serve as director for the South Carolina Department of Insurance in November 2012. For 32 years prior to that, Farmer mostly worked for the American Insurance Association (AIA), a trade group for property/casualty insurance companies, most recently serving as Southeast vice president. He also worked in the Georgia Department of Insurance.
- Michael J. Rothman, of Minnesota, for a term of two years Rothman, an attorney, is the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which includes insurance regulation along with securities, real estate, utilities and other businesses. He was appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton in January 2011. Rothman serves on the executive committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and is the president-elect of the North American Securities Administrators Association.
- Thomas McLeary, of Illinois, for a term of two years. He is a founder and president of Endow Insurance Brokerage, a Chicago life insurance and benefits brokerage. In 1992, McLeary was one of four individuals who formed the Premier Network Service Group, the first national African American property/casualty and financial services firm.
- Heather Ann Steinmiller, of Pennsylvania, for a term of two years. Steinmiller is general counsel with the Philadelphia insurance and benefits brokerage firm of Conner Strong & Buckelew. The 300-person brokerage has offices in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Florida. It places approximately $1 billion in premium for clients in the United States and abroad.