Feb. 10, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Greater Insurance Regulation Sought

USAA’s Brian Conklin said the Bean-Royce legislation is the insurance company’s highest priority because of the mobility of their customers, military families.

“The current system disproportionally affects the military community,” Conklin said.

USAA is currently going over its legislative strategy, but will be “ramping” up soon, according to Conklin.

Opponents of federal regulation argue that it would weaken consumer protections, raise costs and be worth billions of dollars annually to insurers.

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America’s Charles Symington cheered the president’s decision to not include a recommendation for an optional federal charter.

“In many respects the battle over the optional federal charter has been between Main Street and Wall Street,” Symington said. “The administration appears to have initially decided that the arguments are on the side of Main Street America, small business and consumers.”

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners are both trying to draw the focus away from a federal charter, arguing that the insurance industry is not the cause of the current economic crisis and should not be targeted as such and instead home in on systemic risk issues.

The NAIC is using its state commissioners to help make the case to Congress and has also engaged public relations firm Edelman.

“The current crisis if nothing else showed the rigorous regulation of the insurance industry did exactly what effective regulation is expected to do, protect consumers,” said Michael McRaith, director of the Illinois Department of Insurance.

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