WASHINGTON (March 26, 2007) — The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) has joined in an unprecedented effort to battle anti-competitive, anti-consumer proposals in Congress. A letter signed by 10 insurance and business trade associations warns of the serious consequences that would occur if the antitrust exemption for the insurance industry is eliminated. The letter was sent to all members of the U.S. Congress.
“This legislation will do nothing but hurt those it seeks to protect — namely, consumers, businesses and small insurance companies,” said Carl Parks, NAMIC’s senior vice president of government affairs. “Rather than increasing competition in the insurance marketplace, as proponents of the measures have said, the legislation would likely reduce competition, increase insurance costs and reduce availability for consumers.”
Proposals in the Senate and House would eliminate the limited exemption from federal antitrust laws included in the McCarran-Ferguson Act. The law gives states the authority and responsibility to regulate the business of insurance — not the business of insurance companies. It allows activities that have increased competition and provided significant benefits to America’s consumers.
“This legislation will turn back the clock on more than 60 years of state-based insurance regulation,” Parks said. “It will create a complicated system of dual regulation by adding an additional layer, namely the Federal government.”
Those signing the letter represent virtually all segments of the insurance and business industries, including agents, life insurers, the property/casualty market and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The broad based support of this effort shows the magnitude of the seriousness of the issue,” Parks said. “When everybody unites in opposition to a proposal so early in the legislative process, clearly it is a misguided effort.”
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Posted: Monday, March 26, 2007 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Wednesday, March 28, 2007 10:44:00 AM.
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