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Insurance Lobbyists on Front Line of US Reforms

Source: BestWeek

Posted on 23 Mar 2010

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In many congressional sessions, insurers focus on small bills, the kind of insider financial legislation that is barely discussed beyond industry circles, according to BestWeek U.S./Canada. But on Capitol Hill now, the attention of insurers is largely on the same major efforts that are drawing the intense interests of politicians and the public.

The organizations that insurers and insurance professionals hire to make themselves heard have a special set of challenges. The groups and the companies they represent spent $164 million on lobbying in 2009. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, insurance is the second-leading lobbying spender, BestWeek said.

And in BestWeek Europe, recent events point to growing concern within the insurance industry over the impact of Solvency II’s implementation as European Union officials insist the current timetable for adoption will be met. Some say there is also emerging evidence that Solvency II will put stress on the regulators who will have to implement it.

BestWeek U.S./Canada looks at how reinsurers are likely to bear the brunt of losses related to the Feb. 27 earthquake in Chile, as Chilean insurers cede about 90% of their exposure, according to reinsurance broker Aon Benfield. With industry-wide losses estimated to be $2 billion to $8 billion, a BestWeek tally shows early loss estimates from several reinsurers.