The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents has adopted a policy position favoring a newly evolved system of oversight and guiding PIA participation in the insurance regulatory reform efforts of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The policy position supports state regulation of insurance.
The policy was approved unanimously May 7 during a meeting of the PIA National Board of Directors in Washington, D.C.
“The changes that have been made necessary by financial services modernization represent both an opportunity and a challenge to PIA members,” said PIA Executive Vice President Gary W. Eberhart. “The financial services marketplace is evolving and our system of state-based insurance oversight must also evolve to be more responsive to our members’ needs and the needs of consumers.”
The policy position states that PIA supports:
NAIC and all state Departments of Insurance (DOIs) taking an assertive position in shaping the insurance oversight of the evolving financial services industry by sharing the intellectual property and experience that is state insurance regulation. · NAIC’s direction to create an insurance oversight system that takes advantage of multi-state collaborations and uniform laws and procedures to govern more effectively and better interface with current and future federal aspects.
In addition, the policy position adopted on May 7 states that PIA resolves to:
Fully participate in these current and continuing activities to successfully represent our members’ evolving interests and needs and create a successful insurance marketplace.
Liaison with all parties at interest within and outside the insurance industry to better understand the details and reasons for their proposals of change; identify where and how our interests are complementary; where potential resolutions to differences may exist; and where and how best to express opposition.
Consider what rules are best for this new industry, its core insurance · disciplines and technical needs, its customers and how that is all best · regulated. This will require change to some of the long-held beliefs and · practices of our members, as well as strong advocacy response to repel · popular, but in the long-term inappropriate suggested changes.
·Work jointly through our affiliates as these issues emerge at the national · level and develop positions that craft laws, regulations and procedures · serving the developing needs of PIA members. Collaborate at the national and state level on the uniform adoption of · these changes in the states, limiting the number and nature of exceptions · to be considered state-by-state and coordinating any corresponding federal · requirements.
“PIA has been a leader in advocating for these needed changes,” said PIA division vice president Patricia A. Borowski, CPIW, CAE “We recognize that the goal of this industry-regulator effort is to shape insurance regulation for where our members will be in the next three to five years, not simply where they are today.”
PIA supports an evolution of the oversight of insurance that retains the principle of state regulation and its structure because it responds better to local and regional market and consumer needs. This system better interfaces — rather than conflicts — with the increase in federal aspects and operates more effectively, allowing resources to go further and collaboration to identify multi-state events.
“Just as all politics are local, all insurance is local,” said Eberhart. “The insurance product is a legal contract governed by state contract law. It provides coverage for exposures that are principally governed by state law and delivers services primarily through local and state facilities. While the cause of losses can be regional in nature — such as hurricanes, floods and natural disasters — all loss recovery is local because all losses are local.”
Approval of the national policy position followed an address to the PIA Board by NAIC President George Nichols, who said it is important that PIA members and the entire agent community partner with the NAIC in support of its agenda, to ensure the process now underway preserves the principle of state regulation.
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