• NCOIL Says State-Based Insurance Regulation Has Been Successful; Legislators Should Participate In International Dialogue
  • July 26, 2014
  • Law Firm: Colodny Fass P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Office
  • In letters addressed to federal and international officials, National Conference of Insurance Legislators ("NCOIL") President and New York Senator Neil Breslin, who also chairs 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. Senator Breslin addressed his comments to top officials at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Insurance Office, the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Financial Stability Board, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    The letters--both of which contained the same text addressed to separate officials--are attached for review.

    Senator Breslin remarked that "For too long, the voice of state legislators has been missing from international regulatory debates. My goal is to make clear to federal and international officials that NCOIL stands ready to be an active participant in global insurance dialogues as together we seek to maintain a competitive market and ensure proper regulation. NCOIL staked its positions on key global issues at our Summer Meeting and now is continuing its commitment to promote and defend the principles that states hold dear."

    His July 21 letters assert that:

    It is incumbent upon international organizations to recognize the importance of state-based insurance regulation and the legislative voice that NCOIL provides. State legislators who debate and enact the insurance laws in this country-including those emanating from overseas initiatives-must have a part in international efforts in order to be confident that the proposals legislators are asked to adopt are in the best interests of their constituents. The absence of a legislative voice in international discussions may present an inadvertent danger to effective U.S. insurance markets, which represent one-third of the global insurance industry, and to the consumers and businesses they serve.

    The letters continue, explaining that NCOIL is " . . . looking today to make certain that current international endeavors are not a solution in search of a problem and do not negatively impact the successful U.S. approach."

    At its July 10 to 13 Summer Meeting in Boston, NCOIL unanimously adopted a series of resolutions directly related to international insurance issues. A Resolution Regarding Guiding Principles for U.S. and International Insurance Regulatory Discussions urges creation of a meaningful mechanism for state legislators to input into global discussions, and it commits NCOIL to engaging with federal and global officials, as well as with state officials and others, in the future.

    A Resolution Concerning Principles of State Sovereignty in International Trade says that caution is needed in trade negotiations to avoid pre-empting state regulations, and calls for expanded and continuous involvement by state legislators in negotiations.

    Finally, a Resolution Regarding the States' Response to International Proposals for Insurer Solvency Regulation and a Global Capital Standard (ICS) states that NCOIL will work with U.S. state insurance regulators and federal agencies to formulate a unified U.S. position on capital standards consistent with domestic policies and laws.