Through ongoing lobbying efforts, NAMIC continues to urge members of Congress to consider legislation that would streamline licensing requirements for insurance agents and brokers.
The bill, The National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act of 2008 would establish licensing reciprocity for insurance producers operating in multiple states. At the same time, it would ensure that states retain the authority to regulate marketplace activity and enforce consumer protection laws.
“While NAMIC opposes an optional federal charter, we do support limited congressional action that would help streamline and modernize the current regulatory system,” said Justin Roth, NAMIC’s senior federal affairs director. “This legislation is a good step, as we believe that agent licensing reform is one of those areas that would benefit from federal legislation and would address some of the unnecessary duplicative licensing requirements that currently exist.”
The legislation would establish the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers to provide for non-resident insurance agent and broker licensing. It is a progression from the original NARAB provision that was part of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley legislation enacted in 1999.
“While the original NARAB provision went a long way in creating more uniformity, it did not go far enough in creating a system that would allow professionally licensed agents to easily offer their services across all jurisdictions,” Roth said.
NARAB II deals only with marketplace entry and would not impact the day-to-day state regulation of insurance, Roth explained. It would permit producers licensed in good standing in their home states to receive additional state licenses if they satisfy the requirements established for NARAB membership. Producers could remain licensed in the traditional manner, but those operating in multiple jurisdictions could apply for NARAB membership and one-stop non-resident licensing.
“NAMIC supports the concept of legislation that would target agent licensing,” Roth said. “By allowing agents and brokers greater ease in offering their services across state lines, it is the consumers who ultimately benefit by having more choices.”
Direct questions to NAMIC's Senior Federal Affairs Director Justin Roth.