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The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL)

NCOIL is the voice of state legislators in Washington in the face of mounting federal initiatives to preempt state insurance regulation.  Find out more about NCOIL here.

The purpose of NCOIL is to help legislators make informed decisions on insurance issues that affect their constituents and to declare opposition to federal encroachment of state authority to oversee the business of insurance, as authorized under the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945.

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.

 

The National Conference
of Insurance Legislators

National Office
385 Jordan Road
Troy, NY 12180
TEL: 518-687-0178
FAX: 518-687-0401

Washington Office
601 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Suite 900, South Building
 Washington, D.C. 20004
TEL: 202-220-3014
FAX: 202-330-5004

 

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

·           property-casualty insurance

·           state-federal relations

·           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

·           The Insurance Legislative Fact Book and Almanac, available in both hard copy and Web-based editions, that contains postal, Web site and e-mail addresses, telephone and fax numbers of the state governors, insurance regulators, legislative leaders, legislative committee chairs, and top legislative staff members who handle insurance legislation

·           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

·           weekly 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 FUNDING

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.

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