2009 News Release

Troy, New York, December 11, 2009Kentucky State Representative Robert Damron took over as President of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) during the organization’s recent Annual Meeting.  The election slate also included the following officers for 2010:  Rep. George Keiser (ND) as President-Elect; Sen. Carroll Leavell (NM) as Vice President; Sen. Vi Simpson (IN) as Secretary; and Rep. Charles Curtiss (TN) as Treasurer.

Financial Services & Investment Products

Washington, DC, November 23, 2009 – The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) acted boldly yesterday to fill a regulatory void created by a decade of federal deregulation.  The organization unanimously adopted Credit Default Insurance Model Legislation that would prohibit so-called “naked” credit default swaps (CDS) and establish a regulatory framework for “covered swaps”—now to be overseen in the states as credit default insurance (CDI).

Washington, DC, July 22, 2009As Congress moves to revamp the derivatives market, leaders of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) apprised key U.S. House and Senate Committee Chairs this morning of NCOIL efforts to guard against credit default swap (CDS) abuse.  The letter, signed by NCOIL President Sen. James Seward (NY) and Financial Services & Investment Products Committee Chair Assem. Joseph Morelle (NY), pointed to NCOIL development of draftCredit Default Insurance Model Legislation—a year-long process grounded in the belief that certain CDS are insurance. 

Washington, DC, April 8, 2009 Seeking to regulate the unregulated, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Task Force on Credit Default Swaps (CDS) Regulation will draft model legislation establishing strong solvency and disclosure requirements for CDS—transactions that have been blamed, in part, for the nation’s ongoing economic turmoil.  During a Task Force conference call on April 3, lawmakers approved plans to treat CDS as insurance and develop legislation to regulate the market for the first time in advance of a second call later this month.

Washington, DC, February 4, 2009 –  National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Financial Services & Investment Products Committee Chair Assemblyman Joseph D. Morelle (NY) this morning called for state regulation of credit default swaps (CDS)—testifying at a full U.S. House Committee on Agriculture hearing that CDS are “species of insurance” and “best left to the regulatory purview of the states.”

New York, New York, January 26, 2009 In front of a packed house on Saturday, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Steering and Financial Services & Investment Products Committees took first steps here toward developing a comprehensive credit default swap (CDS) policy.  The NCOIL Financial Services Committee will discuss the public hearing and regulatory strategy when it meets during the upcoming NCOIL Spring Meeting in Washington, DC. witness testimony  transcript

Washington, DC, January 22, 2009  –  National 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.

Health, Long-Term Care & Health Retirement Issues

Troy, NY, December 1, 2009 In a letter sent yesterday to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) reminded Congress of key consumer protections afforded by the states, cautioned against consumers paying more for quality healthcare, and stressed that states are appropriate venues for reform.

Washington, DC, May 27, 2009 In a missive today to Congressional Committees exploring health insurance reform, officers of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL)—an organization of legislators devoted to sound insurance public policy—recommended that Congress recognize state successes and not hinder state efforts to better protect consumers and regulate their unique markets.

Washington, D.C., March 4, 2009As part of its ongoing goal to increase transparency in health insurance, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) at its Spring Meeting here on February 27 committed to protect consumers against unexpected medical debt brought on by a controversial practice known as balance billing and to hold a hearing in July at the 2009 NCOIL Summer Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Washington, D.C., NY, February 19, 2009As medical debt continues to threaten American families already in the throes of economic recession, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) at its Spring Meeting here next week will examine the pros and cons of a controversial practice commonly referred to as “balance billing.”  The NCOIL Health, Long-Term Care & Health Retirement Issues Committee on February 27—in line with NCOIL goals of consumer protection and healthcare cost reduction—will examine a reimbursement method in which patients believing they have insurance coverage for emergency room and other healthcare services are held liable for unpaid medical bills by out-of-network healthcare providers.

Life Insurance & Financial Planning

Washington, DC, June 12, 2009National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) President Senator James Seward (NY) yesterday congratulated Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) for introducing H.R. 2733, the Indexed Annuities and Insurance Products Classification Act of 2009In a letter to Congressman Meeks, the NCOIL President said that H.R. 2733 was consistent with long-standing NCOIL policy supporting state regulation of insurance products.

Washington, DC, April 28, 2009The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) today shared vital information with influential U.S. Senators on needed consumer protections gleaned during its extensive review of life settlements and stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI).  In a letter to U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Ranking Member Mel Martinez (R-FL), NCOIL President Senator James Seward (NY) wrote that a fine balance is necessary to safeguard seniors and properly oversee the industry, and that “transparency, disclosure, and accountability are key components in regulating the market.”

Property-Casualty Insurance

New Orleans, LA, November 23, 2009Following three special meetings and a series of conference calls over the last five months, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Property-Casualty Insurance Committee on November 21 adopted a draft Model Act Regarding Auto Airbag Fraud—legislation that would protect consumers by establishing a comprehensive set of anti-fraud policy options.  The 20-5 vote, followed by unanimous Executive Committee adoption on November 22, took place during the November 18 through 22 NCOIL Annual Meeting here.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 16, 2009The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) responded to the widening financial crisis on July 12, when legislators here adopted an insurance scoring amendment that reaffirms and expands upon NCOIL support for extraordinary event victims.  The amendment, which revises a 2002 NCOIL Model Act Regarding Use of Credit Information in Personal Insurance, moves an extraordinary life circumstances (ELCs) drafting note into the body of the model and broadens its provisions.

Philadelphia, PA, July 13, 2009Driven by impassioned debate at a special meeting here, legislators on July 11 made a push for auto insurance consumer protection—voting for thorough review of model acts on airbag fraud and aftermarket crash parts.  The unanimous decision, delivered during the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Summer Meeting, includes holding interim conference calls with interested parties to develop revised drafts for November Annual Meeting consideration.

Troy, New York, June 5, 2009 Legislators at the Philadelphia NCOIL Summer Meeting will debate a freedom-of-choice model act on July 11 that would challenge insurer crash part mandates and would target controversial auto body steering.  The proposed Model Act Regarding Motor Vehicle Crash Parts and Repair, to be featured at a special 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. Property-Casualty Insurance Committee meeting, would hinge on disclosure and prior consent, and would promote insurer and auto repair accountability.

Troy, New York, April 29, 2009Amid growing economic unrest and destabilized consumer credit, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) advised state insurance regulators yesterday that an NCOIL insurance scoring model law will protect struggling consumers throughout the nation.  The letter,,sent in advance of an April 30 National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) hearing on use of credit information, tells of the many consumer protections in the 2002 model and offers insight into proposed amendments that would more directly assist victims of today’s economy.

Washington, DC, March 5, 2009Members of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Property-Casualty Insurance Committee determined at the Spring Meeting here—during a February 28 debate marked by heated exchanges and calls of racial injustice—to continue their review of education/occupation underwriting and to pursue decisive NCOIL action as developments warrant

Washington, DC, March 3, 2009Lawmakers at the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Spring Meeting here vowed to pursue model legislation that would take wind out of airbag fraud—scams in which, through theft and insurance misdealing, auto repair shops and other entities jeopardize consumer safety to chase monetary reward.  The March 1 Property-Casualty Insurance Committee decision commits the group to considering a model based on current state approaches.

State-Federal Relations

Washington, DC, December 10, 2009National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) President Rep. Robert Damron (KY) wrote House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) this morning to outline NCOIL concerns with H.R. 4173, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009, and to indicate NCOIL strong opposition to a Federal Insurance Office (FIO).

Washington, DC, December 7, 2009New National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) President Representative Robert Damron (KY) today reconfirmed the organization’s opposition to federal insurance office proposals and questioned the objectivity of an insurance study approved during last week’s U.S. House Financial Services Committee markup of H.R. 2609, the Federal Insurance Office Act of 2009.

November 25, 2009 –  Presiding NCOIL President Senator James Seward (NY) discusses key NCOIL developments and federal regulatory proposals with BestDay Audio.

Washington, DC, October 27, 2009 The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) on Friday reasserted its strong opposition to a Congressional Federal Insurance Office (FIO) proposal.  In an October 23 letter to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ranking Member Spencer Bachus (R-AL), NCOIL Officers wrote that H.R. 2609, the Federal Insurance Office Act of 2009, moves well beyond previous Committee discussions and towards the establishment of a federal insurance czar at the U.S. Treasury Department—a kind of slippery slope that NCOIL cautioned against throughout 2008.

Washington, DC, July 14, 2009The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) reaffirmed its commitment to state insurance oversight and its opposition to proposed federal preemptive measures when its Executive Committee unanimously adopted a Resolution Favoring Continued State-Based Insurance Consumer Protection on Sunday, July 12, the final day of the NCOIL Summer Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Washington, DC, June 9, 2009 National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) President Sen. James Seward (NY) today urged Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner—who orchestrated an insurance reform summit at the White House last week—to expand future outreach efforts to include state legislators, governors, and attorneys general.  Sen. Seward stressed the need for state involvement, noting the long and successful state track record in regulating insurance.

Washington, DC, May 11, 2009Emphasizing the need for more structured communication between financial regulators, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) today announced essential components for systemic risk regulation.  In a letter to U.S. Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committee leaders, NCOIL Officers cautioned against consolidating authority in a single federal body, stressed the successful track record of state regulation, and outlined the need for an equal partnership between and among state and federal regulators to oversee systemic risk.

Washington, DC, April 2, 2009Three dominant state legislative organizations—the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), and the Council of State Governments (CSG)—joined today in strong opposition to an OFC.  In an April 2 letter, the groups advised that Congress “do the right thing” by state insurance regulation and not endorse such a needless proposal, one that would exacerbate the current economic crisis.

Washington, DC, March 16, 2009The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) today reinforced its strong opposition to insurance optional federal charter (OFC) proposals, and asserted that there is limited support for this approach.  In a letter to U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-CT), NCOIL Officers wrote that, “If the ongoing financial crisis has taught us anything, it is that state-based insurance regulation continues to safeguard American consumers and the insurance industry.”

Washington, DC, March 4, 2009 – National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) President Sen. James Seward (NY) announced formation of an NCOIL Task Force on Credit Default Swap (CDS) Regulation this past weekend during the NCOIL Spring Meeting here.  The Task Force—which will be headed by Financial Services & Investment Products Committee Chair Assem. Joseph Morelle (NY)—will hold interim conference calls to work toward appropriate oversight of the previously unregulated insurance segment to be vetted at the NCOIL Summer Meeting in July.

Washington, DC, March 3, 2009This past Sunday, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) brought together four of the nation’s most experienced and knowledgeable insurance experts to brainstorm with state legislators regarding financial services regulatory reform and the future of state insurance oversight.  The NCOIL Session was held in conjunction with the organization’s 2009 Spring Meeting here.

Washington, DC, February 13, 2009The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) yesterday advised United States Department of the Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner against pursuing an optional federal charter (OFC) for insurance regulation as part of a broader reform strategy.  NCOIL Officers stressed the folly of an OFC, stating that it would “irreparably damage insurance oversight by promoting regulatory arbitrage and substantially weakening consumer protections.”  The leaders asserted that State legislators would not sit idly by as certain individuals sought to weaken insurance oversight.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

New Orleans, LA, November 25, 2009The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) on November 22 took a strong stand against employee misclassification by unanimously approving aConstruction Industry Workers’ Compensation Coverage Act during its Annual Meeting here.  The model provides needed protections for injured construction workers through transparency, accountability, and disclosure.

Troy, New York, July 17, 2009 On July 12 in Philadelphia, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) supported continued independence from the feds in workers’ compensation insurance matters by unanimously adopting a Resolution Opposing the Creation of a Federal Commission to Examine State Workers’ Compensation Laws.  The resolution, while lauding positive aspects of state-based systems, reminds Congress that the recommendations of a similar federal commission spurred the workers’ compensation financial crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 14, 2009Recognizing a need for state legislative action in 2010, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) on July 10 formed a subcommittee to move forward an Employee Misclassification Workers’ Compensation Coverage Model Act.  After serious discussion and debate, members of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Committee deferred consideration of the model to its November Annual Meeting in order to fully consider a barrage of last-minute comments received from regulator, insurer, employer, anti-fraud, and organized labor representatives.

Troy, New York, June 22, 2009In an effort to protect injured workers and reduce costs, insurance legislators on July 10 in Philadelphia will move forward needed model legislation requiring employers to appropriately identify employees for workers’ compensation benefit purposes.  The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL)—in conjunction with its Summer Meeting scheduled for July 9 through 12 at the Philadelphia Marriott—will consider a proposed Employee Misclassification Workers’ Compensation Coverage Model Act to promote transparency, disclosure, and accountability in the market and to establish clear criteria to distinguish independent contractors from employees.

Troy, N.Y. March 9, 2009 In an effort to provide needed state guidance on a perennial workers’ compensation concern, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) in late February committed to develop an independent contractor status model law for consideration at its July Summer Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The model law would, among other things, help to control costs, ensure coverage, protect injured workers, and fight fraud by defining independent contractors—and criteria for their exemption—under state workers’ compensation laws.