Insurance Groups React to Rep. Barney Frank’s Retirement Announcement

November 29, 2011

A number of insurance associations have issued statements recognizing the positive work the retiring U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has accomplished for the industry.

Frank, 71, announced this week that he will not seek re-election in 2012, citing as a reason the congressional redistricting in his state, which would have made his reelection campaign more arduous than previously expected.

Frank has been serving the fourth district of Massachusetts for more than three decades. Last year, he helped craft The Dodd-Frank Act, a landmark law that overhauled financial regulations. He also played a pivotal role in establishing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA).

“Rep. Frank has an understanding and appreciation of the insurance industry,” said Willem Rijksen, vice president of public affairs at American Insurance Association.

The congressman played a leading role and was instrumental in gaining passage and subsequent reauthorization of TRIA which created a much needed national public-private terrorism insurance mechanism, he said.

And following the 2007-2009 financial crisis, Rijksen added, “AIA worked with Rep. Frank, during his tenure as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, to ensure that the Dodd-Frank Act correctly recognized that insurers do not pose a systemic risk and that insurers maintain a low-risk business model,”

Joel Kopperud, director of government affairs at The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, said Rep. Frank’s approach to issues impacting the insurance industry was always thoughtful and pragmatic. “I think all these qualities earned him a great deal of respect. He was a real leader for members of the Financial Services Committee and the industry as a whole.”

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