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Charter Support

By: ELA (Mon, Mar/19/2007)

The announcement that a group with a beeline to the United States government decision-makers  favors an optional federal charter for insurance will alternately delight and dismay segments of the insurance industry.
The Commission on the Regulation of U.S. Capital Markets in the 21st Century, which is an independent, bipartisan commission set up by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, cited optional federal charter as a key method of modernizing the nation’s financial services markets.
That’s all well and good – but some insurers don’t want or need to compete on a global scale. However, the chances that Congress will grant their wish increase every day, especially considering Rep. Barney Frank’s reported comments in tentative favor of federal regulation and the number of major companies supporting the idea. It’s all the more reason for state insurance regulators to quit dallying and make significant strides toward seamless processes between states.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) annual report, released earlier this week, employed a “Mapping Milestones” theme, with a fierce message – state insurance regulation serves consumers and companies best.
Frankly, reading through the report, the “roadwork” theme got old quickly and only served to remind local readers of another star-crossed highway project – Boston’s Big Dig. And despite touting the achievements on the state level of 2006, it seems that the NAIC spent more time last year trying to prove how global it can be, rather than energetically focusing on resolving jurisdictional differences. If the association expects to preserve its 135-year-old system, it needs to start functioning like it’s 2007, not 1871.
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