House Subcommittee to Examine Federal Role in Insurance Regulation

June 11, 2009

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises will hold a hearing to explore oversight of the insurance industry on June 16.

“It is now clear that we must restructure the federal government’s role with regard to insurance oversight,” said Chairman Paul Kanjorski, D.-Pennsylvania. “At the very least, the federal government must have in-house expertise on this significant sector of the financial services industry and have an ability to watch over insurers as part of broad systemic risk and consumer protection authorities.”

He called for a federal office for collecting and analyzing insurance information that “would provide the minimum role for the federal government in ensuring that insurance is not at a disadvantage as compared to other financial products by helping Congress and the federal government make better decisions regarding insurance policy matters.”

Kanjorski also said the subcomittee will examine the ultimate role of the federal government in overseeing insurers, insurance holding companies, and reinsurers.

“The bond insurance crisis, the near-collapse of American International Group (AIG), numerous insurers requesting TARP funding, and the need for mortgage insurers to obtain more capital to underwrite new business have all shown that insurance is both an important part of the national economy and certain lines may require more comprehensive and consolidated oversight,” he said.

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