2008 News Release

Duck Key, Florida, November 25, 2008State Senator James Seward (NY) took over the reins of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) on November 23 as its incoming president.  The election slate also included the following officers for 2009:  Rep. Robert Damron (KY) as President-Elect; Rep. George Keiser (ND) as Vice President; Sen. Carroll Leavell (NM) as Secretary; and Sen. Vi Simpson (IN) as Treasurer.

Executive Committee

Troy, New York, December 5, 2008National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) President Senator James Seward (NY) this week in a letter and at a December 5 National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Legislative Liaison meeting expressed NCOIL desire that the governance structure of an NAIC Reinsurance Regulatory Modernization Framework Proposal be transparent and accountable.  In a December 2 letter, Sen. Seward also relayed NCOIL concerns regarding the level of federal involvement in the Framework.

Financial Services & Investment Products

Washington, DC, January 22, 2009National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) President Sen. James Seward (NY) and NCOIL Financial Services & Investment Products Committee Chair Assem. Joseph D. Morelle (NY) announced today that a slate of experts will testify before the NCOIL Steering and Financial Services Committees in New York City this Saturday, January 24, on the controversial credit default swap market and its public policy implications.  The witnesses—who represent perspectives ranging from those of state insurance regulators to America’s seniors—will participate in the public hearing entitled Regulation of the Credit Default Swap Market, scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Washington, DC, December 29, 2008How are, and should, credit default swaps be regulated?  What role do the states and the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) have in the regulation of credit default swaps?  Under federal law, may states—through their insurance statutes—insist upon certain standards in the design of credit default swap contracts?  Are standards regarding reserving, insurable interest, and solvency needed in the credit default swap market?

Seeking answers to these questions and more, NCOIL has scheduled a public hearing to develop insights into the proper regulation of credit default swaps and to explore what responsibility and role state officials should have in regulating the marketplace.

Health, Long-Term Care & Health Retirement Issues

Duck Key, Florida, November 26, 2008The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) on November 23 provided needed guidance to states by finalizing a long-debated Rental Network Contract Arrangements Model Act during its Annual Meeting here.  The model—approved in time to be considered in 2009 legislative sessions—balances desired access to preferred provider organization (PPO) networks with transparency of physician reimbursement.  It allows unlimited “downstream” rentals of PPO contracts and physician discounts, while ensuring that network access information is available to providers.

Troy, NY, November 7, 2008After three years of debate and nine interim conference calls in the last few months, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) is poised to adopt a controversial Rental Network Contract Arrangements Model Act at its upcoming Annual Meeting later in November.  NCOIL will begin closing its extensive investigation of transparency in health insurance preferred provider organization (PPO) rental networks and physician reimbursement at a special meeting of its Health, Long-Term Care & Health Retirement Issues Committee on Wednesday, November 19, and conclude at its regularly scheduled Health Committee meeting on Friday, November 21.

New York, NY, July 16, 2008Following nearly two hours of interested party back-and-forth regarding controversial physician-payer networking issues, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Health, Long-Term Care and Health Retirement Issues Committee committed to pursue model legislation during a July 10 Special Committee Meeting here.  Legislators resolved to hold discussions during interim conference calls over the next four months to develop an NCOIL model act—with a goal of considering a complete product at the 2008 NCOIL Annual Meeting.

New York, NY, July 14, 2008 As part of an ongoing effort to increase health insurance access and affordability for the uninsured and underinsured, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) adopted on July 13 a Resolution in Support of Extending Dependent Health Benefits for Young Adults.  Lawmakers acted during the July 10 through July 13 NCOIL Summer Meeting here.

Troy, New York, January 14, 2008As states rush to implement new long-term care partnership programs, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) will host a special February 28 meeting to evaluate the suitability of new state systems and to discuss whether legislative adjustments are necessary.  The session, scheduled from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. during the February 28 through March 2 NCOIL Spring Meeting in Washington, DC, will also examine ongoing federal efforts now that a 2006Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) has given all states a green light to get in to the partnership game.

Life Insurance & Financial Planning

Duck Key, Florida, November 25, 2008The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) took a stand for state insurance regulation by voting unanimously on November 23 to adopt a Resolutionin Support of State Insurance Commissioner Authority Over the Regulation of Fixed Indexed Annuity Products.  Adopted during the NCOIL Annual Meeting, the resolution opposes a proposed U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 151A which—if approved—would subject fixed indexed annuities to oversight by federal securities regulators

Troy, New York, February 15, 2008 The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) last week—in a letter sent to legislative leaders and insurance committee chairs of the 50 states and related jurisdictions—strongly reaffirmed its commitment to an NCOIL Life Settlements Model Actadopted by its Executive Committee in November 2007.  The model was approved unanimously after nearly two years of interested party input and over 35 hours of intense discussion and debate.  NCOIL believes the model is key to addressing a very vital concern—that of illegal stranger-originated life insurance schemes, or STOLIs.

Natural Disaster Insurance

Troy, New York, March 6, 2008The federal government must help stabilize homeowners’ markets challenged by natural catastrophes, asserted Congressman Tim Mahoney (D-FL) before a packed luncheon crowd at the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Spring Meeting inWashington, DC.  Outlining one of several possible options being explored by NCOIL as a way to address the natural catastrophe crisis, Mahoney said H.R. 3355, the Homeowners’ Defense Act of 2007, is the right approach—and perhaps the best hope for struggling consumers.

Property-Casualty Insurance

Duck Key, Florida, November 25, 2008Legislators at the NCOIL Annual Meeting here committed on November 21 to investigate whether the use of education and occupation in insurance underwriting is fair—and to hold a special session on the issue at the 2009 NCOIL Spring Meeting.

New York, New York, June 14, 2008As Congress debates bills that would toss aside state efforts to regulate credit-based insurance scoring, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) on July 13 adopted a Resolution Supporting State Regulation of the Use of Credit Information in Personal Insurance—which highlights the ongoing 26-state success of an NCOIL insurance scoring model act and opposes federal plans to usurp state prerogative.

Washington, DC, May 21, 2008National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Secretary Rep. George Keiser (ND) today told members of a U.S. House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations that an NCOIL insurance scoring model act strikes a critical balance between consumer and other interests and proves that federal legislation to regulate credit-history scores is unnecessary.

Washington, DC, March 4, 2008Taking aim at arguably unfair auto rental company practices, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) adopted on March 1 a Model Act Regarding Disclosure of Rental Vehicle Damage Waivers—calling on consumer notification to ensure justice in a widely popular market.  Lawmakers acted during the February 28 through March 2 NCOIL Spring Meeting here.

State-Federal Relations

Washington, DC, December 10, 2008The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) today applauded The Council of State Governments (CSG) for again stating its opposition to federal insurance chartering and called on state officials to convene a strategy meeting to discuss financial regulatory reform.  NCOIL President Senator James Seward (NY) commended the CSG for adopting aResolution Opposing Continuing Federal Insurance Chartering Efforts during its recent December 3 through 7 Annual State Trends & Leadership Forum in Omaha, Nebraska.

Washington, DC, November 6, 2008 Lawmakers from across the country will converge at the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Annual Meeting in Florida later this month to consider ways to turn around an ailing economy and to map out a regulatory structure for the future.  Legislators and other financial authorities will meet on November 22 at a blue-ribbon panel entitled U.S. In Financial Crisis:  Where Do We Go From Here?.

Washington, DC, October 20, 2008The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) today, while recognizing Congressman Barney Frank for his review of financial services regulation, cautioned that any proposed reforms should not stand in the way of strong state oversight—oversight that protected insurers from the fate that recently befell other financial services sectors.  NCOIL asserted that state safeguards would better serve as a model for reform than untested federal proposals, including that of an optional federal charter.

Washington, DC, September 19, 2008The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) today thanked House Speaker Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for removing preemptive House bill H.R. 5840, the Insurance Information Act, from the September 17 suspension calendar.  NCOIL Officers, in the September 19 letter, said that they shared Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s (D-CA) concerns regarding H.R. 5840, and sought to “correct what we believe are disingenuous remarks made by certain industry representatives, which link the need for the legislation with the recent American International Group (AIG) financial crisis.”

Washington, DC, August 7, 2008 In an August 1 letter to U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Chairman Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) leaders spoke out against Congressional efforts to fast-track legislation to create a federal Office of Insurance Information (OII)—recommending that their federal colleagues slow down the legislative process for further debate and discussion.  The letter followed in the wake of a July 29 hearing during which Sen. Dodd signaled that the Senate could consider a legislative package that may include parts of H.R. 5840, the Insurance Information Act of 2008, before adjourning in September.

New York, NY, July 15, 2008Naming critical concerns regarding confidentiality and authority, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) advised a slowdown of a market conduct annual statement (MCAS) proposal being considered by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).  The NCOIL Executive and State-Federal Relations Committees on July 11 and 13 unanimously adopted a resolution questioning an NAIC plan to piggy-back on statutorily required annual financial statements in order to facilitate a centralized NAIC market conduct database, during the NCOIL Summer Meeting here.

Washington, DC, June 25, 2008 –  The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) reached out to state Governors and Attorneys General today, urging their involvement in a dialogue with federal lawmakers regarding H.R. 5840, the Insurance Information Act of 2008—which would preempt state insurance laws and consumer protections.  The letters follow in the wake of a June 10 U.S. House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises hearing, only days before the Subcommittee is rumored to mark up the proposal.

Washington, DC, June 11, 2008National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) President Rep. Brian P. Kennedy (RI) yesterday told members of a U.S. House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government-Sponsored Enterprises that NCOIL is deeply troubled by a bill to create a new Office of Insurance Information (OII)—on the grounds that, among other things, it lacks a legislative presence, implies broad powers over insurance policy, and could lay a dangerous path to a federal insurance regulator.

Washington, DC, April 21, 2008National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) President Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy (RI) expressed concern today regarding H.R. 5840, the Insurance Information Act of 2008—legislation introduced late last week by Congressman Paul Kanjorski (D-PA), chairman of the U.S. House Capital Markets Subcommittee—creating a new federal insurance office and in effect preempting long-established state structures.

Washington, DC, April 3, 2008Though Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson may not be fiddling while Rome burns, one wonders if in a Blueprint for a Modernized Financial Regulatory Structure, released earlier this week, he is not fanning the flames.  While ignoring the shortcomings of the current federal system, a system that in no small part led to the current subprime debacle, Secretary Paulson in the Blueprint criticizes and minimizes successful state insurance regulatory modernization and proposes the dubious solution of federal control, including that of an optional federal charter (OFC).

Washington, DC, March 5, 2008 The National Conference of Insurance Legislators reaffirmed its opposition to optional federal charter (OFC) legislation and unanimously approved a Model StateResolution in Opposition to S. 40/H.R. 3200, the National Insurance Act of 2007 during its Spring Meeting here on Saturday, March 1.  NCOIL legislators also met with key Congressional leaders to describe various modernization efforts ongoing at the state level.

Washington, DC, March 4, 2008  The National Conference of Insurance Legislators took an important step to modernize agent licensing during its Spring Meeting here on Saturday, March 1, when the Executive Committee unanimously adopted a widely supported Resolution in Support of the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) and urged all states to fully implement NIPR services to eliminate unnecessary hurdles in producer licensing

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Feb. 25, 2008) National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) President and Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger — along with National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) President, Rhode Island State Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy, and National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce Standing Committee Chair, Maryland State Sen. Delores Kelley — today reaffirmed their commitment to working together to protect U.S. insurance consumers and support state-based insurance regulation.

Washington, DC, February 14, 2008This week NCOIL leaders reiterated their opposition to what they consider an ill-advised measure—that of a proposed optional federal charter (OFC)—in a resolution to be taken up at the approaching NCOIL Spring Meeting in Washington , DC.

Washington, DC, February 8, 2008The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) will dialogue with federal representatives about the future of insurance regulation and appropriate reforms here in late February as a key component of the NCOIL Spring Meeting, scheduled from February 28 through March 2.