Saturday, April 24, 2010

NCOIL Urges Senators to Remove ONI from S. 3217

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), Troy, N.Y. , is urging U.S. Senators to remove a provision in S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, which would create an Office of National Insurance (ONI).

In an April 22 letter to senators, NCOIL leadership asserted that S. 3217 would preempt state law and eventually threaten successful insurance oversight. The letter is signed by state Rep. Robert Damron (Ky.), NCOIL president; state Sen. Carroll Leavell (NM), NCOIL vice president; and 8 state legislators.

The letter says that “While the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 has been drawn to focus on regulatory answers to the nation’s financial crisis, Title V—by inserting a federal presence into the regulation of insurance—seeks a solution to a problem that does not exist. As has been evidenced and attested to over and over again, and despite the wishes of those who would seek to avoid the protections of state regulation, insurance regulation did not contribute to the crisis and does not need federal intervention.”

The letter goes on to say that NCOIL, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Denver, and the Council of State Governments (CSG), Lexington, Ky., strongly oppose an ONI. The letter adds that several state insurance commissioners and consumer organizations, and the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA), Alexandria, Va., have also opposed such an Office.

However, the NCOIL letter states that “Though opposed to an ONI, NCOIL does support enhanced coordination between state and federal regulators and has asserted that state and federal officials must work together to communicate and share information on systemic risk.”

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