INDIANAPOLIS (April 16, 2007) — The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) today unveiled a resource center dedicated to addressing the concerns and misconceptions about the McCarran-Ferguson Act. The McCarran-Ferguson Act Resource Center found online at www.namic.org/policy/mfa.asp offers a plethora of objective information on the law that is vital to assuring a competitive insurance marketplace and stable rates for consumers.
Included at the resource center are:
During the past few months, legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Congress to repeal or alter the existing limited antitrust exemptions afforded under the Act.
“NAMIC opposes any change to, or repeal of, the existing antitrust exemptions afforded under the McCarran-Ferguson Act,” said Chuck Chamness, NAMIC’s president and CEO. “Such actions could place smaller and regional firms at a distinct disadvantage, increase consumer costs, reduce consumer choice, and seriously undermine competition.”
Included in the Act is a narrow exemption to federal antitrust laws. The existence of the exemption promotes competition in the insurance marketplace by allowing companies to exchange critical data regarding losses and other factors, allows development of standardized policy language, facilitates participation and oversight of state guaranty funds, permits state control over liquidations, and enables the development and operation of assigned risk plans. It establishes a careful and well working balance between regulation and antitrust enforcement for the state regulated insurance industry and ensures parity with other financial services industries.
“This resource is invaluable for anyone interested in the McCarran-Ferguson debate,” Chamness said. “We encourage visitors to peruse the available information carefully so they have a thorough understanding of the issue and why it is imperative for insurance consumers, the public, and the insurance marketplace to keep McCarran-Ferguson intact.”
Enacted in 1945, the McCarran-Ferguson Act entrusts states with the authority and responsibility to regulate the business of insurance. States regulate virtually every aspect of insurance, from licensing to market practices and financial solvency. Additionally, every state has an Unfair Trade Practices Act providing the authority to investigate and, if appropriate, correct and punish unfair practices.
For further information, contact
(202) 628-1558 Tel
(202) 628-1601 Fax