THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF INSURANCE LEGISLATORS (NCOIL)
NCOIL is a legislative organization comprised principally of legislators serving on state insurance and financial institutions committees around the nation. NCOIL writes Model Laws in insurance, works to both preserve the state jurisdiction over insurance as established by the McCarran-Ferguson Act seventy years ago and to serve as an educational forum for public policy makers and interested parties.
Founded in 1969, NCOIL works to assert the prerogative of legislators in making state policy when it comes to insurance and educate state legislators on current and perennial insurance issues.
TOWARD THAT END, NCOIL WORKS TO:
Educate state legislators on current and perennial insurance issues
Help state legislators from different states interface effectively with each other
Improve the quality of insurance regulation
Assert the prerogative of legislators in making state policy when it comes to insurance
Speak out on Congressional initiatives that attempt to encroach upon state primacy in overseeing insurance
Many legislators active in NCOIL chair or are members of the committees responsible for insurance in their respective state houses across the country. All states are either general or contributing NCOIL members.
NCOIL ON THE HILL
NCOIL is an adamant, vocal opponent of any Congressional initiative that would deprive consumers of key state protections, preempt state laws that respond to unique insurance markets, threaten critical state premium tax revenue, and, in many cases, lead to cherry picking and fraud.
Congress has stepped up interest in usurping state insurance authority. Lawmakers are considering plans to sweep insurance oversight into broad system-wide financial services reform, including into a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), and are considering creation of a Federal Insurance Office (FIO) with significant powers to preempt states.
Congress is devising healthcare overhauls with far-reaching implications—and NCOIL is committed to ensuring that any reform maintains strong consumer protections. Congress is considering repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act’s limited antitrust exemption for health and other insurers—an exemption that promotes competition and allows smaller and more regional carriers to compete effectively with larger companies. The Feds also have looked at everything from interstate health insurance sales and small business health plans (SBHPs) to an optional federal charter (OFC) and an Office of Insurance Information (OII).
NCOIL EFFORTS ON THE HILL INCLUDE:
Testifying before Congress on issues ranging from federal proposals to take over insurance oversight to state modernization initiatives, credit default swaps, and credit scoring statutes
Meeting with legislative leaders and staff to discuss federal and state insurance priorities
Communicating NCOIL positions on key legislation and issues through letters and NCOIL resolutions
Working with interested parties to educate Congress on the importance of state insurance authority and modernization efforts, including the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact
Attending and monitoring Committee hearings and other activities
Allying with other state officials to forestall new federal bureaucracies that threaten effective and consumer-oriented state regulation
OPEN MEETINGS, PUBLIC INPUT
NCOIL convenes three (3) meetings per year in which legislators:
Learn about current insurance policy issues
Hear from consumers, regulators, federal officials, the insurance industry, and others
Debate proposed model laws that, when enacted, serve as templates for state bills
Consider resolutions on a variety of issues
Hold committee and subcommittee meetings, hearings, special sessions, and panel discussions
ALL NCOIL MEETINGS ARE OPEN MEETINGS
NCOIL Committees Address Items Related To:
Financial services and investment products
Health, long-term care, and health retirement issues
International insurance issues
Life insurance and financial planning
Natural disaster insurance legislation
Workers’ compensation insurance
NCOIL RESEARCH, PUBLICATIONS
Under the auspices of the Insurance Legislators Foundation (ILF), NCOIL’s educational and research arm, the organization has published a number of studies on timely issues of public policy concern.
In November 2007, the ILF released A Study on State Authority: Making a Case for Proper Insurance Oversight that focused on the authority granted to—and real-life roles of—players who impact state insurance regulation, including legislators, attorneys general, regulators, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Phase II of the study comprised critical recommendations to gain new ground in insurance regulation, while at the same time regain territory that has been lost.
THE RECOMMENDATIONS ADVOCATED WAYS TO:
Clarify the roles of regulators and attorneys general and strengthen commissioners’ authority
Regain and enhance legislators’ oversight of regulators and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
Require the NAIC to follow open meetings laws and preclude regulators from attending closed meetings
Strengthen state regulation through expansion of the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact
Create an independent commission of stakeholders to further review the current regulatory structure increase NCOIL resources to accomplish these tasks by reallocating state NAIC assessments
PREVIOUS ILF STUDIES INCLUDE, AMONG OTHERS:
A 2002 legislators’ guide entitled Rising Waters, Mounting Challenges: Flood Protection, Prevention, and Assistance, undertaken in collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in order to educate legislatures on the basics of flood insurance and help promote public awareness
The study led to an NCOIL model law that includes, among other provisions, agent training requirements for flood insurance. The language has been widely cited by FEMA, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and many others as a standard for agent training.
Two reports, released in 2000 and 2003, regarding the state system of market conduct surveillance that revealed, in part, significant inconsistencies, redundancies, and waste
The studies, prepared by PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLC and Georgia State University, led to, among other things, a 2006 NCOIL model law that would establish a uniform system for collecting marketplace data and would set forth a continuum of market conduct actions for consideration prior to undertaking targeted market conduct exams.
IN ADDITION, NCOIL PUBLISHES:
A monthly newsletter, the NCOILetter
Legislative alerts, for lawmakers in NCOIL contributing-member states, that offer concise updates on key state and federal insurance efforts and their impact on state lawmakers
Biweekly articles of interest, also for lawmakers in NCOIL contributing-member states, that draw legislators’ attention to a variety of breaking news articles on critical issues, including from sources that legislators may not access
THE GLOBAL SCENE
NCOIL is state legislators’ eyes and ears on the global front regarding issues of concern between the United States and the European Union—including a groundbreaking shift in international accounting standards that will transform how U.S. companies do business.
NCOIL efforts have included meetings between NCOIL legislators and EU and UK parliamentarians and regulators both in this country and abroad.
NCOIL also monitors and reports on meetings of the NAIC, International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), and other organizations.
NCOIL dues are $10,000 per state per year. Contributing members submit dues and enjoy full privileges of NCOIL membership. Meeting registration fees fund NCOIL legislative activities.
The National Conference of Insurance Legislators
NCOIL National Office
2317 Route 34, Suite 2B,
Manasquan, New Jersey 08736