Posted on 06 Jan 2009
National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) President and New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny on Monday issued the following statement regarding the request from the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) for capital and surplus relief for life insurance companies:
“During this unprecedented time of economic upheaval, existing conservative state regulatory requirements have helped insurers remain solvent when other financial institutions were failing. Rigorous solvency standards protect companies — and, even more importantly, protect consumers.
“Over the past two months, we have been working diligently to analyze what is being requested by the ACLI. While many of the ACLI’s requests have been under consideration by insurance regulators for quite some time, I can assure you that careful deliberation will be exercised before any action is taken.
“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to the challenges facing the industry. However, we want to make all reasonable efforts to act uniformly on regulatory matters with national scope. So it makes sense that the NAIC would take the lead and offer authoritative guidance on this complex issue.
“One of the most important questions for regulators to consider in this regard is the likelihood that every state could, and would, implement any changes adopted by the NAIC membership as a whole. Certainly, concerns have been raised regarding our ability to achieve uniform adoption of the suggested options within the time frame requested by the industry.
“It must be recognized that implementation of any approved changes would be difficult from a timing standpoint in some cases, given that several of the items identified are currently included in state statute or regulation, which require a deliberative process for change.
“State regulators hold insurers to conservative solvency standards to provide the ultimate protection to consumers — making sure a company will be able to pay claims. We will not contemplate making any changes that would negatively impact existing consumer-protection measures.
“We have every confidence the NAIC Capital and Surplus Relief Working Group will complete an open, expeditious and thorough review.”