PIA Survey Shows Strong Support for State Regulation

October 1, 2004

Members of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) strongly support state regulation of insurance and strongly oppose any effort to move to a federal regulatory system.

The results of a survey of PIA members’ views on regulatory reform were released by Len Brevik, executive vice president and CEO of PIA National, during an industry panel held in Hershey, Pa.

“The results of our survey affirm that our members remain firmly supportive of the current system of functional state insurance regulation,” Brevik said. “Participants were vehement in their rejection of a federal insurance regulator. At the same time, a majority agreed that changes are needed to modernize state insurance regulation.”

Of those PIA members responding to the survey, 96.4 percent said they were satisfied with their own state’s regulation and oversight practices; however only 41.4 percent expressed the same satisfaction with regulation and oversight in non-resident states where they transact business.

A majority of respondents (55.1 percent) said changes are needed to modernize state insurance regulation, while 43.7 percent said they thought everything is fine the way it is. An overwhelming majority (83.6 percent) said that having a federal insurance regulator is a bad idea, and 88.3 percent expressed support for continuing the current system of functional state-based insurance regulation “with only the most minimal federal oversight.”

Regarding the proposed creation of a federal-level regulatory panel to coordinate, but not mandate, greater efficiency in the insurance marketplace as envisioned in draft legislation currently pending in Congress, 38.5 percent said the panel is a bad idea and 16.4 percent supported it. A majority (51.4 percent) said such a panel is a “Trojan Horse” for federal regulation of insurance.

By a margin of 81.9 percent to 8.6 percent, respondents agreed with the statement, “Federal regulation of insurance is only favored by a handful of large carriers and banks as a means of increasing their market share.”

The electronic survey was conducted Sept. 23-29.

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