For Immediate Release
December 16, 2022
Contact: Pat Gilbert
NCOIL ADOPTS FOUR NEW MODEL LAWS AT ANNUAL MEETING IN NEW ORLEANS, LA
Model Laws include the NCOIL Paid Family Leave (PFL) Insurance Model Act; the NCOIL Insurance Regulatory Sandbox Model Act; and two Property and Casualty Insurance Models
Belmar, NJ – During the 2022 National Council of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Annual National Meeting in New Orleans, LA, the organization adopted four new Model Laws. All four Models passed without opposition via voice vote by their respective policy committees and the NCOIL Executive Committee.
The NCOIL Life Insurance & Financial Planning Committee, Chaired by Rep. Carl Anderson (SC), adopted the NCOIL Paid Family Leave (PFL) Insurance Model Act, sponsored by Sen. Paul Utke (MN), NCOIL Secretary, and co-sponsored by Rep. Deborah Ferguson, DDS (AR), NCOIL President. The NCOIL Financial Services & Multi-Lines Issues Committee, Chaired by
Rep. Edmond Jordan (LA), adopted the NCOIL Insurance Regulatory Sandbox Model Act, sponsored by Rep. Bart Rowland (KY), Chair of the NCOIL Property & Casualty Insurance Committee and co-sponsored by Rep. Wendi Thomas (PA) and Rep. Tom Oliverson, M.D. (TX), NCOIL Vice President.
Additionally, the Property & Casualty Insurance Committee adopted the NCOIL Delivery Network Company (DNC) Insurance Model Act, sponsored by Rep. Rowland, and co-sponsored by Del. Steve Westfall (WV), Vice Chair of the NCOIL Health Insurance & Long Term Care Issues Committee, and the NCOIL Dog Breed Insurance Underwriting Protection Model Act, sponsored by Asm. Kevin Cahill (NY), former NCOIL Vice President, and co-sponsored by Rep. Tammy Nuccio (CT). More information on the passage of these two models can be viewed here: https://33afce.p3cdn2.secureserver.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/PC-Models-Press-Release-Final-1.pdf
The NCOIL Paid Family Leave (PFL) Insurance Model Act provides a framework for states to create a new line of insurance in which any insurer licensed to transact life insurance or disability income insurance will also be able to provide coverage for paid family leave. Since many workers need to take time off work for family reasons, including bonding with a new child or caring for an ill family member, this Model would allow insurers to expand existing income replacement benefits to include paid family leave.
“I was proud to sponsor the PFL Insurance Model Act as it benefits both workers and employers,” said Sen. Utke. “Having coverage for paid family leave will give people the peace of mind that they won’t have to face financial hardship to take care of a loved one. I look forward to seeing how states use this Model across the country.”
“It’s also important to note that the Model is very flexible in that it can be used in states that have existing mandatory paid family leave requirements for their employers or it can be used in states that don’t have such a requirement but want to make it available to employers as an enhanced benefit to their employees as we see an ever-increasing competitive employment market,” Sen. Utke concluded.
Rep. Ferguson said, “This creates an important framework for states as they look to find the best way to implement paid family leave. The Model has so much potential as it can be used to not only support businesses but it could also serve as a model for a type of private-public partnership between insurance companies and government paid family leave programs,” said Rep. Ferguson. “This is an issue that has been left unsolved for far too long and I’m glad we were able to work to provide guidance to states that will give real benefits to consumers.”
During the drafting and deliberation process, the Committee heard from interested parties including the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the Children’s Action Alliance, and the Center for American Progress.
The NCOIL Insurance Regulatory Sandbox Model Act provides regulators the authority to grant insurers waivers from specific requirements of insurance laws or regulations in order for more innovative or efficient insurance products to emerge. The Model aims to reduce hurdles for insurance companies that want to introduce new concepts and products at the same speed as insurance technology develops.
Several states across the country have such sandboxes with some being industry-targeted and others being all-inclusive thereby opening the door for any and all companies to apply and participate, regardless of industry. The NCOIL Model is insurance-specific, similar to those enacted in states such as Kentucky, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia.
“We implemented an insurance regulatory sandbox in Kentucky and I have seen how beneficial it is for promoting innovation,” said Rep. Rowland. “The insurance industry is dynamic and there are changes happening every day. This Model will give companies the ability to create new products to respond to consumer demand while also ensuring compliance with state law. Sandboxes enable innovators to work with regulators in trialing new products, services, and business models while regulations are temporarily waived but consumers remain protected.”
“No matter how complex a topic is, and many topics related to innovation can indeed be complex, the importance of having conversations remains paramount,” said Rep. Oliverson. “Having conversations and an open dialogue can be very helpful in ensuring that development of innovative products is not stifled or unnecessarily impeded. After several discussions and
hearing from those who have been involved in the sandbox process, it was ultimately decided that even if the take-up rate is low in the sense that there aren’t a ton of formal applications to get into the sandbox and have a law or regulation waived, what the sandbox does is ignite conversations and more importantly, conversations about innovation. Kudos to Rep. Rowland for shepherding this Model across the finish line.”
During the drafting and deliberation process, the Committee heard from interested parties including the American InsurTech Council (AITC), the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions, Degree Insurance, Eusoh, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA), Libertas Institute, and the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation.
NCOIL CEO Commissioner Tom Considine said, “The adoption of these four Model Laws during our Annual Meeting highlights how productive NCOIL has been this past year. I’d like to thank the work of the Committee Chairs as well as the sponsors and co-sponsors who helped get these Models adopted without opposition. We’ll be watching with great interest to see how these Models get adopted into state law in the upcoming legislative sessions.”
A full copy of the PFL Model can be viewed here: https://33afce.p3cdn2.secureserver.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/NCOIL-PFL-Model-Adopted-Nov.-2022.pdf
A fully copy of the Sandbox Model can be viewed here: https://33afce.p3cdn2.secureserver.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/NCOIL-Sandbox-Model-Adopted-Nov.-2022.pdf