AIA Says No to Elected Conn. Commissioner Proposal

February 8, 2005

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s (D) call on Tuesday for an elected insurance commissioner would politicize the regulation of one of the state’s most important economic sectors, according to the American Insurance Association (AIA).

“There is no evidence that an elected insurance commissioner would bring about lower costs or more competition in the marketplace,” said Paul Moran, AIA vice president, northeast region. “However, it would definitely politicize the regulation of insurance.”

“Insurance regulators must have two priorities. First, they are bound to represent the best interests of the state’s consumers. But second, they must also be concerned about the solvency of insurers. Regulators can provide the best protection for consumers and enforcement in the marketplace if they have expertise in insurance matters, rather than the ability to win an election,” added Moran.

On the broader issue of insurance reform, AIA said it would work with both the executive and legislative branches to craft legislation that will embrace four principles: compensation transparency so consumers can make informed choices; regulatory clarity so that rules are clear and unambiguous; jurisdictional consistency to reduce confusion among consumers and market participants; and business flexibility to enhance, rather than limit products and competition.

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