Washington - Congressman Ed Royce (R-CA), a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced legislation that would create an optional federal charter regulatory regime for life and property/casualty insurance providers. The National Insurance Act of 2006, is companion legislation to S.2509, which was authored by Senators John Sununu (R-NH) and Tim Johnson (D-SD)."The National Insurance Act would create a federal regulatory agency within the Treasury Department; however, it would leave the current state regulatory system in place. An insurance provider could choose to be regulated by the 50 states or by the Office of National Insurance," says Royce. "This concept is not new--the banking system has lived under such a framework for much of our nation's history."

The U.S. Treasury, academic experts and market participants recently testified that the state-based system of regulation needs modernization. Uniformity of regulation, which is lacking at state level, would be achieved with federal oversight. One set of rules would enable insurance providers to reduce compliance costs and reduce barriers to market entry.

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