Brokers Call for Implementation of National Licensing Reform Law

Insurance producers are calling upon the Obama Administration to begin implementation of a licensing reform measure signed into law eight months ago.

When President Obama signed the renewal of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) in January, he also signed into law an attached measure to streamline insurance producer licensing known as the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers (NARAB).

Now some producers are frustrated because implementation of the licensing reform they fought years to achieve has not progressed and the board that is supposed to oversee the new program has not been named.

The American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA) this week urged the appointment of the 13-member NARAB board as soon as possible. Until the board is named, implementation will be stalled, AAMGA said.

“It is vitally important that the law be implemented as intended as soon as possible. Industry has worked diligently for eight years, and now that the provisions of the legislation have been signed into law eight months ago, we respectfully request your immediate selection and appointment of the NARAB board members,” AAMGA Executive Director Bernie Heinze wrote in a letter to the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) within the Treasury that is charged with recommending board members to the president and implementing the law. Michael McRaith, former Illinois insurance commissioner, heads the FIO.

The new law creates a system for producers who are licensed in their home states to become a member of a national nonprofit registry to more easily become approved to do business in other states.

The NARAB registry is to be governed by a 13-member governing board comprised of eight current or former state insurance commissioners and five insurance industry representatives. The presidential appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.

The board will establish membership criteria, through which producers can obtain non-resident licensing.

According to AAMGA and other agent and broker groups that have sought the licensing change for years, implementation of NARAB’s provisions will reduce operational and compliance costs and maintain agent and broker licensing standards, without undermining state regulation.

FIO had not replied to a request for information or reaction by press deadline.