The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies voiced strong support for bipartisan legislation introduced today to reform the Federal Insurance Office.
“The Federal Insurance Office Reform Act,” introduced by Reps. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., and Denny Heck, D-Wash., would refocus the FIO on its mission to be a resource for federal policymakers and to help coordinate the U.S. message on insurance internationally, a step toward ensuring the office does not encroach upon state insurance regulation.
“The Federal Insurance Office was created to serve as an information resource for policymakers, not to make policy itself, but in recent years we’ve seen it deviating from this core mission and getting out of its lane,” said Jimi Grande, senior vice president of government affairs for NAMIC. “NAMIC has lately been questioning the value proposition of the FIO, and the Insurance Office Reform Act would offer some much-needed protection from the office’s potential overreach.”
Under the legislation, the FIO would continue to monitor insurance markets for federal policymakers and would remain as a voice for the Treasury in international negotiations. However, the bill would require the office to respect the sovereignty of the states on insurance regulation, prohibit it from attempting to participate in regulatory supervisory colleges, and require it to include state regulators throughout the negotiation of any covered agreement.
“NAMIC commends Representatives Duffy and Heck for their work to protect the state-based regulatory system for insurance in America,” Grande said. “Truly bipartisan legislation is a welcomed, though increasingly rare creature in Washington, and we hope that members of both parties will support this legislation.”