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NAMIC Launches New Public Policy Publication Focused on Insurance Politics

Indianapolis (June 22, 2006) – The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) announced today that it has launched a new public policy publication, NAMIC Review of Insurance Politics, that seeks to “illuminate the intersection of insurance and politics.” The Review will be published on an annual basis.

“The familiar products of insurance politics – laws that directly pertain to the business of insurance, enacted by state legislatures and administered by state insurance departments – are augmented, and sometimes eclipsed, by sundry decisions of state and federal courts, Congress and the executive branch, quasi-regulatory and legislative bodies such as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the National Conference of Insurance Legislators and in states that allow ballot initiatives,” said Robert Detlefsen, NAMIC Public Policy Director and editor of the NAMIC Review.

The inaugural issue features three essays that examine the type of class action lawsuit in which plaintiff attorneys seek to alter existing insurance regulatory regimes, sometimes in direct contravention of the expressed will of legislators and regulators.

The essayists include Lawrence Mirel, former District of Columbia insurance commissioner, who suggests that the regulatory system is “perverted” when a class action lawsuit against a regulated entity is filed before the appropriate regulator has had a chance to review and adjudicate the issue; Robert Detlefsen, who argues that class action litigation tends to produce regulatory outcomes that are contrary to the public interest, mainly because courts are singularly ill-equipped to make sweeping policy decisions; and D.J. Powers, a Texas attorney and the founder of the Center for Economic Justice, who argues that insurance departments cannot be trusted to protect the interests of consumers in regulatory disputes, primarily because most states’ commissioners are co-opted by the industry they are charged with regulating.

Other contributors include Tom Finnell and Gary Strohm, a pair of chartered public accountants who wrote separate essays examining whether elements of the federal Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) corporate governance and accounting statute should be applied to non-public insurance companies. NAMIC state affairs managers Paul Tetrault, Joe Thesing and David Reddick also contributed articles—Tetrault on judicial interpretations of state laws governing uninsured and under-insured motorists’ coverage; Thesing and Reddick on a South Dakota ballot initiative that would subject judges to punishment at the hands of citizen tribunals.

“The NAMIC Review aims to provide the kind of thoughtful, provocative analysis and commentary on insurance issues that is typically not found in either traditional academic journals or the industry trade press,” NAMIC President and CEO Chuck Chamness said. “We think the first issue lives up to that promise, and believe we’re off to a good start. We hope our readers will agree.”

Copies of the 82-page NAMIC Review are being mailed this week to NAMIC member companies, and the entire issue will soon be available on the Association’s website, NAMIC Online. Non-NAMIC members may obtain hard copies by contacting Detlefsen at rdetlefsen@namic.org. A separate NAMIC Review Website is also being discussed.


For further information, contact
David B. Reddick, Ph.D.
(317) 875-5250 Tel
(317) 879-8408 Fax
dreddick@namic.org

Posted: Thursday, June 22, 2006 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Thursday, June 29, 2006 10:11:14 AM.

317.875.5250 - Indianapolis  |  202.628.1558 - Washington, D.C.

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