The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies is urging Congress to include vital protections for the U.S. insurance regulatory framework in financial services regulatory reform legislation currently awaiting action in the House.
In a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Jimi Grande, NAMIC senior vice president of government affairs, called for the inclusion of H.R. 4537 in any final regulatory reform legislation negotiated by the House and Senate. The letter calls on the House leadership to ensure that the state-based system of insurance regulation is not upended by ill-fitting, global regulations imported through international agreements. H.R. 4537 was introduced by Reps. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., and Denny Heck, D-Wash., last year, and was approved by the House Financial Services Committee by a 56-4 vote last December.
"Of the thirty-two hundred property/casualty insurance companies in the United States, 94 percent of them do no business internationally - yet all of them stand to be impacted by the importation of foreign regulatory standards through international standard-setting bodies," Grande said in the letter.
NAMIC has long expressed concern that negotiations at the International Association of Insurance Supervisors aimed at creating regulatory uniformity across global borders could conflict with and undermine the regulatory structure that has served U.S. consumers for more than 150 years.
The work on financial regulatory reform has been an all-too-rare showing of true bipartisanship in Congress, Grande noted, making it all the more sensible to include H.R. 4537.
"The concern over the activities of the IAIS and other international organizations in the insurance space is one that is shared across the aisle - both chairmen and ranking members of the subcommittee of jurisdiction and the full committee voted in favor of the legislation in December," he said. "Clearly, there is little disagreement on the substance of the bill, making it ripe for inclusion in a broader regulatory reform package."