The Liability Risk Retention Act, enacted in the 1980s in response to a liability insurance crisis, effectively preempted state insurance laws and provided for the creation of risk retention groups, or RRGs, to provide coverage in all U.S. jurisdictions. The LRRA currently permits RRGs to underwrite commercial lines liability coverage, excluding workers’ compensation, and does not apply to personal lines coverage. Under the Act, risk retention groups that meet certain licensing requirements of one state may operate nationwide. Except for the RRG’s chartering state, the risk retention group is exempt from any state law, rule, or regulation that regulates or makes an RRG unlawful (with certain exceptions, including compliance with fraudulent trade practices regulations, nondiscrimination, and unfair claim settlement practices, and participation in state guaranty funds).
Several attempts have been made to further expand RRG coverage to include group insurance. Time and time again, NAMIC has argued that current market conditions do not warrant a national and permanent expansion of RRGs into property or other non-liability insurance. The admitted market is fully capable of providing this coverage. Expansion at this time is unnecessary to address any crisis in availability and affordability that would override the fundamental principles of regulatory fairness. NAMIC believes the entire insurance industry would be better served by focusing on competitive market reforms for all types of carriers across all lines, not by targeting a select group for preferential regulatory treatment.
NAMIC opposes legislation that would expand the LRRA by allowing RRGs and purchasing groups to cover property risks. Permitting these groups to write additional lines of commercial insurance, while generally exempt from state law requirements and standards, would likely lead to an unfair competitive environment and raise concerns for covered entities.