PIA National Board Endorses NAIC ASSURE Initiative

April 14, 2003

One day after meetings with National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) president Mike Pickens, the PIA National Board of Directors unanimously adopted a resolution reaffirming PIA’s support of a major NAIC initiative to support continued state regulation of insurance.

The resolution reaffirmed PIA’s support of ASSURE, the Alliance for Sound State Uniform Regulatory Efficiency. ASSURE is a non-profit coalition made up of regulators, consumers, legislators, industry and business leaders who believe that state governments are best equipped to regulate the insurance industry.

“The purpose of this ASSURE coalition is to bring together in our individual states the supporters of state insurance regulation,” said Pickens, in an address last week to PIA leaders in Arlington, Va. “In order for state regulation to survive, modernize, improve and remain in full force and effect, we’ve got to get involved in the political side. We need to call on our friends in the legislatures to help us get things done.”

“The threat of a federal insurance regulator is still hanging over our heads,” Pickens said, noting that there were two optional federal charter bills providing for a federal regulator introduced during the last session of Congress. He said the supporters of such legislation fail to understand the many specific differences between the business of insurance and the banking business.

Pickens noted that PIA has opposed efforts of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to preempt state insurance laws, adding some of the things the OCC has done give banks a whole lot more authority than they need in the area of insurance regulation and “the NAIC is with you in that regard.” He said the NAIC believes state insurance regulators working with the insurance industry should be the ones to decide what the rules are and make sure that the playing field is level.

“I appreciate as do all the NAIC members PIA’s support in so many different ways on all the issues we have been working on together,” Pickens said. “PIA is very well represented, both in the state capitals, in Washington, D.C. and at the NAIC. I cannot overstate how much I appreciate the support of the PIA for our regulatory modernization initiatives, for all the work that you do at the NAIC and for your support of initiatives like ASSURE.”

“We could not and cannot do it without PIA’s help,” Pickens continued, noting PIA’s support at the state level of regulatory reforms embracing national standards that ensure state-based functional regulation is carried out as envisioned under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA).

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