The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) responded to last week's passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act by the Senate.
“It’s been a long and arduous process, but the final version of this bill does not impose onerous new federal or dual regulation on the property/casualty insurance industry,” said Charles M. Chamness, president and chief executive officer of NAMIC. “While we remain concerned by the bill as a whole, the Dodd-Frank bill recognizes that the property/casualty insurance industry is unique among financial services and recognizes the prudent management of p/c insurance companies – particularly mutual insurance companies – and the performance of the states in protecting consumers and ensuring solvency since the financial crisis began.”
The legislation was approved in the Senate by a vote of 60-39, and now heads to the White House to be signed by President Obama. Once enacted, the new law will establish a Federal Insurance Office within the Treasury to provide Congress and the administration with information regarding the insurance industry and assistance in trade negotiations and other policy decisions.
“This office was created with the intent of providing information and expertise about the insurance industry to policymakers, and NAMIC will continue working as the FIO takes shape to ensure it remains true to that purpose,” Chamness said. “As the rulemaking process gets underway, we will remain vigilant against any efforts to expand the role of the FIO into a regulatory body that would needlessly duplicate the work being done by state regulators.”
Another provision included in the legislation reforms the regulation for multi-state non-admitted, or surplus lines, insurance to provide greater clarity for insurers and their customers. Under the new system, the home state of the insured would serve as the primary regulator.
“Reforming the regulation of surplus lines insurance has been among NAMIC’s goals for years,” Chamness said. “We applaud Congress for including this common sense reform in the Dodd-Frank bill.”