Ever since the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 removed barriers between insurance companies, banks and securities firms, insurers have been pushing states for regulatory reform. If insurers are to remain competitive, they argue, insurance companies must get products to market faster. But they are stymied by redundant and cumbersome filing, licensing and reporting requirements across the 50 states. What's needed? Uniform laws and streamlined filing and approvals, according to industry sources."The NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) needs to focus on the bread-and-butter issues of regulatory reform," says Lenore Marema, vice president of industry and regulatory affairs for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), Des Plaines, Ill. Chief among those issues is speed to market.
"There are a lot of delays in getting rate and form approvals from the states," she says. "It just takes too long to validate a filing." A lot of states have a prior-approval requirement for new products, when it would be a lot easier for insurers to compete if they could bring their products to market without prior approval, she says. "The states can address any issues (that arise) with market conduct (reviews). Competition works as a regulator. They need to trust it."
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