NCOIL’s Regulatory Modernization Model

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) maintained the spirit of its regulatory modernization model law and added only two of the proposed amendments during its Spring Meeting in Charleston, S.C., which concluded March 3.

“The Executive Committee’s action to accept only two amendments keeps intact an important regulatory modernization model law that legislators can now review and adopt in their 2002 sessions,” Robert Zeman, vice president and assistant general counsel, said. “This battle has been a long and hard fought one. However, NAII believes firmly that the preservation of state insurance regulation is certainly linked to states passing sound and effective regulatory modernization laws.”

Zeman said that the NCOIL Property/Casualty Committee approved and passed the proposed negative amendments suggested by an agent group early in the day. However, the Executive Committee reconsidered after hearing that most industry groups could not support the model with all of the amendments and the Executive Committee then took action to adopt the model law with only two amendments.

The first amendment keeps the statewide market test intact, but through a drafting note allows states to consider a smaller geographic region. The second amendment deletes provisions requiring a regulator to try to return a market to competitiveness, according to NAII.

NCOIL postponed action on a number of other key issues until its July 2002 meeting.

The State-Federal Relations Committee rejected a proposed amendment to a previously adopted NCOIL resolution calling for the elimination of surplus lines bonds and also postponed consideration of its aftermarket parts Certified Automotive Parts Association’s (CAPA) model bill until the July 2002 meeting.

NCOIL’s State-Federal Relations Committee also tabled adoption on a class action reform model that would require exhaustion of administrative remedies, provide for staying discovery and restrict the use of appellate bonds as well as provide a presumption of validity to regulatory actions–all as a multi-faceted solution to class actions. Although Ohio Insurance Director Lee Covington testified that he believes class action suits are a significant threat to a commissioner’s ability to regulate, the State-Federal Relations Committee postponed adoption to have time for further discussion at it July 2002 meeting.