NAMIC welcomes progress in planned Federal Insurance Office reform

Bill passed by House Financial Services Committee

NAMIC welcomes progress in planned Federal Insurance Office reform

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) is pleased with the progress of the legislation that will reform and clarify the Federal Insurance Office’s (FIO) role.

Following the passage of the Insurance Data Protection Act by the House Financial Services Committee, NAMIC senior vice president of federal and political affairs Jimi Grande (pictured) commented: “While FIO plays a useful role monitoring the industry, it is meant to be a resource, not a regulator. This bill just clarifies that important distinction by removing what is normally an authority reserved for functional regulatory agencies.

“Insurance is regulated appropriately at the state level. Yet FIO maintains its subpoena authority for work that would be overreaching and outside the office’s scope. There’s just no need for it, and when they get political pressure to overreach and duplicate state efforts it costs time and money.”

Now urging swift consideration by the full House of Representatives, NAMIC highlighted that the proposed legislation would strip the FIO of its subpoena authority and prevent it from being used as an enforcement agency or de facto regulator by any administration seeking to collect data directly from insurers.   

Grande said: “When the concerns about FIO’s data call were raised during a recent oversight hearing with Treasury Secretary Yellen, it was a senior Democratic member of the committee asking the questions.

“At the end of the day, blue states have insurance regulators, too. And they’re no more interested in having the federal government encroach on their authority, or needlessly raising costs for their constituents, than anyone else.”

The bill was introduced last September by Representatives Scott Fitzgerald, Mike Flood, and Blaine Luetkemeyer.

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