NAMIC Tells Washington Legal Foundation That Regulation Best Left to States

May 30, 2003

Reformed state regulation of insurance is the most desirable course for the future according to a National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) speaker at a media briefing on “An Optional Federal Charter: The Future of Insurance Regulation” hosted by the Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) this week.

“Under the state system, state regulators are close to the people, the markets remain competitive, and states can affect regulatory reform within their own state. Reformed state regulation of insurance is the most desirable course for the future,” Wayne White, president and chairman of Home Mutual Fire Insurance Company in Conway, Ark., commented

“There is no question that reform of insurance regulation is necessary,” White said. “Globalization, and the market convergence begun with passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) have forever changed the face of insurance markets. While the current state-based system of insurance regulation does not entirely meet the needs of those it regulates, and must become more uniform, it is far from broken.

“The need for change is significant and relatively new. It is unreasonable to declare that the system has failed to reform itself given the short time that it has had to do so. There can be no doubt that the true road to reform is through the states,” White added.

The full text of White’s remarks can be read on NAMIC’s Website, NAMIC Online at http://www.namic.org/pdf/04-04-03white.pdf.

Last spring, White testified before a House Financial Services subcommittee. He cited NAMIC’s public policy paper, Regulation of Property/Casualty Insurance: The Road to Reform, which outlines the major action items in need of regulatory reform. The paper also reportedly points out the flaws in a federal solution to insurance regulation.

The full text of this paper can be accessed at NAMIC Online at http://www.namic.org/pdf/roadtoreform.pdf.

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