2014 News Release

Troy, NY, August 5, 2014 — NCOIL today congratulated Rep. George Keiser on his appointment, in his capacity as a state legislator from North Dakota, to the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance (FACI)—a selection that reflects NCOIL’s belief, first expressed upon creation of FACI in 2011, that legislative membership is critical as FACI deliberates and makes recommendations to the Federal Insurance Office (FIO).

Financial Services & Investment Products

Troy, New York, November 28, 2014 — Acting on concerns that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) may be overstepping its authority with regard to state insurance regulation, NCOIL at its Annual Meeting voted to send a letter to the CFPB that seeks to open a formal dialogue with the Bureau and asks for clarity on its rationale for certain enforcement decisions.  The letter, endorsed by the NCOIL Executive Committee on November 23, is part of NCOIL’s heightened effort over the last year to ensure the integrity of state regulation in light of federal and international challenges.

Health, LTC & Health Retirement Issues

Boston, Massachusetts, July 13, 2014 — On July 10, during a joint Summer Meeting session of the Health, LTC & Health Retirement Issues and Workers’ Compensation Insurance Committees, legislators unanimously adopted enhancements to the 2013 NCOILBest Practices to Address Opioid Abuse, Misuse & Diversion.  In line with NCOIL’s belief that the Best Practices should evolve and expand in response to emerging concerns, the additional provisions relate to privacy and prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)/addiction during pregnancy, and drug take-back/safe disposal programs.

International Insurance Issues

Troy, NY, October 20, 2014 — In line with September NCOIL comments to the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) regarding its proposal to close meetings and curtail input, NCOIL President Sen. Neil Breslin (NY) reached out recently to members of the U.S. House and Senate in support of pending resolutions that call for IAIS openness and interested-party involvement.  The letters supporting House Resolution 735 and Senate Resolution 561 described the issues they raised as critical to protecting the U.S. insurance system

Troy, New York, July 24, 2014 — In a letter to federal and international officials, NCOIL President Sen. Neil Breslin (NY), Chair of the NCOIL International Issues Task Force, again stressed the success of state-based regulation and the need for a formal dialogue with state legislators concerning critical international issues affecting insurance.   Sen. Breslin addressed his comments to top officials at the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Insurance Office (FIO), the Federal Reserve, the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Boston, Massachusetts, July 13, 2014 — The NCOIL International Issues Task Force moved forward at the NCOIL Summer Meeting to help ensure that state insurance regulation and state legislators remain relevant in international discussions affecting insurance.  During a July 10 session that built upon Task Force and working group calls in recent weeks, legislators adopted a resolution regarding controversial efforts to develop a global capital standard, along with two other resolutions regarding vital international concerns. 

Boston, Massachusetts, July 13, 2014 — In line with a resolution regarding global capital standards, the NCOIL International Issues Task Force unanimously voiced its strong support for establishing guiding principles related to international insurance discussions and for preservation of state sovereignty in global trade negotiations.  The Task Force advanced its positions during its July 10 session at the Boston Summer Meeting.

Troy, New York, June 27, 2014 — The NCOIL International Issues Task Force today announced the composition of three working groups assigned to develop strategies for issues deemed most urgent by legislators.  The working groups—which address concerns related to capital standards, coordination and transparency, and trade agreements—will report during a July 10 session at the NCOIL Summer Meeting, as the next phase in NCOIL’s response to global insurance discussions.

Troy, New York, June 6, 2014The NCOIL International Issues Task Force will meet on Tuesday, June 17, to explore interested-party suggestions for the group’s 2014 “top issues”—and will move forward with creating targeted working groups on the issues that legislators deem to be most urgent.  The June 17 discussion, scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (EDT), will lay the foundation for action at a July 10 Task Force session during the NCOIL Summer Meeting in Boston.

Troy, New York, May 14, 2014 – In its next step to promote and protect state insurance regulation in light of international dialogues, the NCOIL International Issues Task Force has called for information in order to determine what “top three” issues the Task Force should pursue in 2014.  The request, made yesterday by NCOIL President and Task Force Chair Sen. Neil Breslin (NY), included an aggressive timeline for work prior to and during the July NCOIL Summer Meeting in Boston—including creation of issue-specific working groups during a June conference call.

Savannah, Georgia, March 9, 2014 – During the first in-person meeting of the NCOIL International Issues Task Force, legislators formulated aggressive plans for 2014 and beyond, highlighting immediate steps to be taken to address developing threats to the state-based insurance regulatory system.  NCOIL legislators also vowed to work closely with state regulators, the NAIC, and others to develop a cohesive strategy on international insurance issues.

Washington, DC February 18, 2014 — In a call to interested parties on Friday, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) stepped up its strategy to guard the soundness of state-level consumer protections and insurer solvency and to promote understanding of the successful state-based insurance oversight system.   NCOIL President and Chair of the newly formed International Insurance Issues Task Force, Rep. Greg Wren—as part of his aggressive vision for the Task Force—called for Task Force Advisory Council members to weigh in on top issues and announced his intention to form a working group of state officials as a needed faction of the Advisory Council.

Washington, DC, January 29, 2014 – NCOIL President Rep. Greg Wren (AL) announced today the formation of a special NCOIL Unclaimed Property Task Force to tackle inconsistent regulation in unclaimed life insurance benefits, drawing together in an Advisory Council a wide range of perspectives from legislators, regulators, insurance companies, and consumer groups.

Life Insurance and Financial Planning

San Francisco, CA, November 28, 2014The Executive Committee of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) voted here on Sunday, November 23, to adopt an enhanced Model Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act to provide contemporary guidance to the statesFollowing three years of extensive input and deliberations and most recently a series of conference calls of its Unclaimed Property Task Force from July through November, the model passed overwhelmingly at Task Force level and unanimously by the NCOIL Life Insurance & Financial Planning and Executive Committees.  The model was originally passed by NCOIL in November 2011 and subsequently adopted in some form by 15 states.

Boston, MA, July 14, 2014A National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Unclaimed Property Task Force, during a meeting on July 10 at the NCOIL Summer Meeting in Boston, made significant progress on a series of proposed amendments to an NCOIL Model Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act put forward by members of the Task Force Advisory Council.  The Task Force will continue to work on the model via conference call over the next few months, culminating in a final vote at the November 20 to 23 NCOIL National Meeting in San Francisco.

Savannah, GA, March 9, 2014—A National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Unclaimed Property Task Force, during its first in-person meeting on March 7, requested proposed amendments to the NCOIL Model Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act from interested parties.  The Task Force held an initial meeting via conference call on February 17.  The model, originally adopted in 2011, has been enacted in nine states since and is being considered in at least nine other states in current legislative sessions.

Savannah, GA, March 9, 2014–In a March 7 letter to federal regulators, National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) President Rep. Greg Wren (AL) reiterated the critical need for continued commercial access to the Social Security Death Master File (DMF).  The letter was sent in response to a directive to restrict access to the DMF from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to the Department of Commerce, stemming from the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013.  As previously expressed in numerous letters to Congress, regular use of the DMF is a vital consumer protection under an NCOIL Model Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act.

Troy, NY, February 18, 2014—The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) President Rep. Greg Wren (AL) today requested that Advisory Council members of the NCOIL Unclaimed Property Task bring forward top issues for consideration at its Spring Meeting in Savannah to enhance the process for timely death benefit payments in the NCOIL Model Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act, and generally.  The NCOIL model, enacted in nine states in the short time since its adoption, is being considered in at least seven other states in current legislative sessions.

Washington, D.C. January 29, 2014 – NCOIL President Rep. Greg Wren (AL) announced today the formation of a special task force, the International Issues Task Force, to work in conjunction with the NCOIL International Insurance Issues Committee.  The mission of the Task Force is to promote understanding of the U.S. state-based insurance system in the international arena and guard the soundness of state-level consumer protection and insurer solvency laws against the potential overreach of international insurance regulatory efforts.

Property-Casualty Insurance Committee

Troy, New York, November 28, 2014 — NCOIL legislators at their San Francisco Annual Meeting unanimously adopted a model law that gives states a new way to reduce Medicaid expenses. The Model Act Regarding Medicaid Interception of Insurance Payments, adopted by the NCOIL Executive Committee on November 23, would make it easier for states to learn about property-casualty insurance claims that Medicaid beneficiaries file, in order for Medicaid to recoup the money it paid for the beneficiaries’ healthcare treatment.

Boston, Massachusetts, July 13, 2014 — After more than two years of debate, NCOIL legislators at the Boston Summer Meeting determined to take a final step toward proposed model legislation to regulate controversial consumer legal lending.  The decision, which followed intense debate during Property-Casualty Insurance Committee meetings on July 11 and 13, calls for formation of an ad hoc working group to seek compromise in advance of a final vote at the November Annual Meeting.

Boston, Massachusetts, July 13, 2014 — NCOIL legislators on July 13 advocated for a common-sense approach to addressing U.S. natural disaster risk, lending their support for federal legislation that would let homeowners set aside money for mitigation and recovery.  The Resolution in Support of H.R. 3989, the Disaster Savings Account Act of 2013, reflects NCOIL’s belief that dealing with natural catastrophes requires a multi-pronged effort—including homeowner savings and responsibility.

Savannah, Georgia, March 9, 2014—Building on their November 2013 support for temporarily delaying Biggert-Waters Act flood insurance rate hikes, NCOIL legislators convened in coastal Savannah furthered their effort to promote financially sound, affordable flood coverage and laid a groundwork for NCOIL outreach.  The March 8 Spring Meeting discussion—which addressed possible options for encouraging private-sector involvement, as well as pending Florida legislation to encourage private-market competitors of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)—took place just days after the U.S. House passed legislation to dial back Biggert-Waters.

Savannah, Georgia, March 9, 2014—On March 8, legislators at the NCOIL Spring Meeting here adopted a resolution urging states, as one approach to reduce numbers of uninsured motorists, to impose limits on how much an uninsured driver can receive when injured in an auto accident.  The controversial proposal, which passed the Property-Casualty Insurance Committee after much discussion, would allow uninsured motorists to collect economic damages, such as wage replacement, but would prohibit, with certain exemptions, the uninsured from recouping non-economic damages, such as for pain and suffering.

State-Federal Relations

Troy, New York, December 15, 2014  – With the future of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (TRIP) in jeopardy, NCOIL on December 14 reached out to Senate leadership and other key members to urge swift passage of S. 2244 reauthorization legislation before adjourning early this week.  The letter, signed by NCOIL President Sen. Neil Breslin (NY), expanded on NCOIL’s historic support for the federal backstop and highlighted negative impacts of Senate inaction.

Washington, DC February 5, 2014 – For the record, NCOIL submitted a letter to the House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance hearing, held yesterday to examine the Federal Insurance Office’s (FIO) Report on Modernizing Insurance Regulation.  The letter, while commenting on the FIO report and stressing NCOIL willingness to work toward modernization where appropriate, emphasized the success of the state system of oversight and the important role of state legislators.

Washington, DC, January 13, 2014In a letter sent on Friday to Federal Insurance Office (FIO) Director Michael McRaith, NCOIL President Rep. Greg Wren (AL) made a strong case for state legislative membership on an FIO Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance (FACI)—highlighting the expertise that NCOIL legislators in particular could offer.  The letter reaffirms NCOIL’s commitment to ensuring that state lawmakers have a seat at the table in federal and global discussions that could impact state insurance oversight.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Boston, Massachusetts, July 13, 2014 — On July 10, during a joint Summer Meeting session of the Health, LTC & Health Retirement Issues and Workers’ Compensation Insurance Committees, legislators unanimously adopted enhancements to the 2013 NCOILBest Practices to Address Opioid Abuse, Misuse & Diversion.  In line with NCOIL’s belief that the Best Practices should evolve and expand in response to emerging concerns, the additional provisions relate to privacy and prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)/addiction during pregnancy, and drug take-back/safe disposal programs.